The standard has been raised for economically producing renewable gas/electricity/heat and valuable bio-products. Highmark's newest Waste-to-Energy technology is officially acknowledged as novel and unique and will now enjoy commercial protection. These patents join the family of inventions known as IMUS or the Integrated bioMass Utilization System.
Highmark Renewables announces that key features of its newly patent-protected systems include:
- Anaerobic Digestion ('AD') is linked with various kinds of other bio-production (eg. algae systems, ethanol plants, bio-diesel facilities).
- Production of bio-products can include nutraceuticals, high-value lipids, ethanol or biodiesel.
- The patent covers other optional features (add-ons) including the integration of:
- Animal barns, coops, or feedlots or other organic waste generators
- An SRM/prion destruction module
- Waste processing machinery
- bioGas cleaning/conditioning capability
- An electrical generator (co-gen unit), or heat/electricity exchangers
- And others.
- Not only are these kinds of integrated systems now patent-protected, but so are the methods of using the systems.
- There are numerous claims forming a strong matrix for the dual benefit of flexibility and versatility in licensing discussions, as well as having better legal ammunition against potential challengers and competitors.
Highmark continues to aggressively prosecute other pending claims to ensure the broadest possible coverage for its unique, world-leading IMUS (tm) technology. As well, the issuance of the U.S. patent for Integrated Systems/bioRefineries is expected to exert a positive influence in the pending applications sitting before multiple other foreign jurisdictions.
The issuance of these patents follows the recent patent for Highmark's innovative and economical waste in-feed system which was issued in 2010. This will bring the total number of patents in Highmark's portfolio to six. Please stay tuned for more news about other, future patents that Highmark is currently taking through the prosecution process.
Since 1999, Highmark has been developing proprietary waste-to-energy technologies in its Canadian labs and in field scale-ups. Highmark has enjoyed the sponsorship of the governments of both Alberta and Canada--and other partners--totaling US$25 million of investment over the past 12 years.
Beyond its ongoing R&D, Highmark offers consulting engineering, Feasibility Studies, and design development for the world's most economical plants for any scale of bioGas facility. Highmark's IMUS (tm) technology can address hard-to-digest materials with a high proportion of solids, mixed feed stocks, integrations with other industrial processes, and bioHazard destruction.
Highmark licenses its patented and patent-pending technology and know-how to project owners around the world. Highmark has seven patent “families” either granted or in process:
- Integrated Bio-Digestion Facility: US Patent and South Africa Patent both allowed—see above announcement; other countries pending
- Use of Anaerobic Digestion to Destroy BioHazards and to Enhance BioGas Production
- Enhanced Ethanol Fermentation Using BioDigestate
- Process for Removal and Recovery of Nutrients From Digested Manure or Other Organic Wastes: US Patent granted; Canada Patent granted; other countries pending
- Nutrient Recovery Methods and Uses
- Handling and Processing Waste Material ('High Solids In-Feed System'): US Patent granted; South Africa Patent allowed; other countries pending
- Grit Removal System (“Clean Slate” System)
An eighth patent family is being drafted at this time, to be applied-for in 2011.