NASA’s Spin Off magazine gave Catacel some excellent press this last week, citing the company as potentially important partner beyond the NASA programs that Catacel has been supporting with its catalyst materials. With the enthusiasm built up for fuel cells powered by natural gas-based hydrogen, it is likely Catacel will gain traction in that market as well. The Catacel ‘stackable structural reactor’ replaces the loose ceramic catalyst media in the stationary steam reforming process that has been used for many years to produce hydrogen from natural gas. Current technology requires that the ceramic catalyst bed be replaced every three to five years due to mechanical degradation of the media. Catacel’s reactor eliminates the need for a replacement cycle, potentially saving natural gas reformers significant capital.
Catacel is a small company, but with a product line that offers highly competitive technologies and clear economies, it is not likely to go unnoticed for long. Even if the company never attains sufficient size to support its own initial public offering, it could be a nice plum for acquisition by an already public company. Catacel is included in the Mothers of Invention Index sponsored by my firm Crystal Equity Research. I will be watching for future developments.