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Lux Research Picks the Top Emerging Catalyst Companies

Dépèche transmise le 7 juin 2011 par Business Wire

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The high and often volatile prices of platinum group metals (PGMs) has drawn many inventors and entrepreneurs to create technologies that reduce the need for PGMs in catalysts for the automotive, hydrocarbon processing and fuel cell industries. To assess which of these emerging catalyst developers stand to capitalize on this growing opportunity, Lux Research’s latest report ranks the field by technical value, business execution, and maturity and compares each company on the Lux Innovation Grid.

“The Platinum Devolution: Reducing Expensive Platinum Group Metals in Catalysis”

The report, titled “The Platinum Devolution: Reducing Expensive Platinum Group Metals in Catalysis,” compares the start-ups and technologies offering to reduce or replace PGMs such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. It also explores companies and technologies aiming to help catalysts better withstand harsh conditions, extend their active lifetimes, accelerate their rates of reaction, or improve overall performance.

“There’s enormous value waiting for future leaders, particularly in automotive applications, where the combination of tightening emission standards and growing car ownership in the developing world will lead to soaring PGM demand,” said Ross Kozarsky, a Lux Analyst and the report’s lead author.

Lux Research conducted primary interviews and site visits with start-ups populating the catalyst landscape, and compiled information on their technical and business performance. It then charted their relative position in one of four quadrants in the Lux Innovation Grid: Dominant, High Potential, Undistinguished, and Long Shot. Among its key findings:

  • Nanostellar and SDCmaterials occupy the Dominant quadrant. SDCmaterials and Nanostellar recently moved into the Lux Innovation Grid’s Dominant quadrant, as the two strongest developers in the automotive catalyst space. Both firms boast strong technical solutions as well as solid partnerships – BASF and Volvo for SDCmaterials and several undisclosed European automakers for Nanostellar.
  • Headwaters Technology Innovation (HTI) retains High Potential, but may be stalled. HTI has lost momentum and missed a few milestones, but the firm can still claim commercial deployment of two catalyst products: a palladium catalyst that allows for simplified production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and an oil refining catalyst that increases gasoline yield during catalytic reforming. However, HTI’s recent lack of significant developments and a parent company whose revenues have nearly been cut in half over the past three years all raise concerns that the company may soon see an even sharper drop in standing.
  • Once squarely in the Dominant quadrant, Catalytic Solutions may see trouble ahead. While Catalytic Solutions’ revenues are five times higher than any other company ranked in the report, they have dropped from $50.5 million in 2009 to $48.1 million in 2010. Meanwhile, net loss increased slightly, and the firm will likely be required to raise additional funds. The catalyst division also recently lost an automaker customer after its core technology failed to meet a required performance standard.

“The Platinum Devolution: Reducing Expensive Platinum Group Metals in Catalysis,” is part of the Lux Advanced Materials Intelligence service. Clients subscribing to this service receive ongoing research on market and technology trends, continuous technology scouting reports and proprietary data points in the weekly Lux Research Advanced Materials Journal, and on-demand inquiry with Lux Research analysts.

About Lux Research

Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit www.luxresearchinc.com for more information.

Business Wire

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