Nittany Extraction Technologies, a startup that recently received an investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, was named from three dozen competitors as one of the winners of the Innovation Expo at the first Shale Gas Insight Conference earlier this month.
Sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the conference highlighted emerging technologies that are expected to have a positive impact on the natural gas industry. The applicants were judged by a technical advisory committee charged with evaluating each proposal based on their appeal to the natural gas industry and their promotion of safe and abundant oil and natural gas development.
Nittany Extraction Technologies is commercializing the research of Penn State professors John Hellmann and Barry Scheetz, both of whom work in the university’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and College of Engineering. Rounding out the team is Martin Bradley, Ryan Koseski, coinventor of the technology, and Timothy Hurley. The company has developed a process that uses low-cost, widely available waste materials such as mine tailings in the production of proppants. Proppants are used to open rock fractures that occur during the drilling process, creating a pathway for the transmission of hydrocarbons and maintaining the porosity needed to allow the flow of oil and gas.
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