TDA Research, Inc has developed SulfaTrap series of sorbents and supplies complete cleanup solutions for biogas including removal of sulfur, siloxanes, CO2, H2O and an online sulfur sensor SulfaTrack to indicate sulfur breakthrough. Our development work is primarily supported by government R&D contracts. TDA retains the intellectual property developed under these contracts, and works in partnership with larger manufacturing companies to bring our products to market. Over several years, in partnership with major companies which are leaders in their fields, we have successfully commercialized the large-scale manufacture of fullerenes, the Direct Oxidation process to remove and recover sulfur from natural gas. Additionally we manufacture multi-ton quantities of sulfur sorbents, as well as specialty chemicals including conducting polymers and fullerene derivatives.
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Chemical & Pharmaceuticals
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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TDA Research was formed in 1987 by two staff from the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) in Golden, CO. Since that time, TDA has grown to a staff of 84 with annual revenues of approximately $11.6 million. TDA is a privately held R&D company which develops new materials (polymers, carbons and ceramics), catalytic and sorbent-based chemical processes and military and aerospace components, we bring them to market either by forming internal business units, or more frequently, in partnership with larger Global 2000 manufacturing companies. TDA's Direct Oxidation Technology removes sulfur from hydrocarbon streams, our fullerene production technology is used by Frontier Carbon to manufacture up to 40 tons per year of fullerenes, and our processable conducting polymers are available from Sigma-Aldrich.
TDA develops new materials, chemical processes and components. Our new materials include catalysts and sorbents, fullerenes, carbons, polymers and polymer additives and ceramics. These materials in turn often form the basis for new and unique chemical processes, or protect users from chemical hazards. Components include single use devices and aerospace propulsion and life support equipment.
In the area of advanced materials, we have developed catalysts that remove pollutants (such as sulfur compounds and nitrogen compounds, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide) or enable new or more efficient chemical processes (such as the production of hydrogen, syngas, aldehydes or nitrogenated compounds). Likewise, our sorbents remove pollutants such as sulfur and nitrogen compounds or heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic from power plant streams or exhausts (often at elevated temperatures where normal sorbents simply don't function), or form the basis for more efficient and less expensive methods for manufacturing chemicals such as hydrogen, syngas or oxygen.
TDA is a leader in carbon-based materials, with strengths in the production and use of fullerenes (BuckyBalls) and electrode carbons with controlled pore size distributions. Our polymer work focuses on conducting polymers, self-assembling materials with nanoscale features and nanometer-scale additives that improve the physical properties bulk polymer or impart useful characteristics such as corrosion resistance. Ceramic materials under development include aluminas and silicon carbides. A significant focus that combines our expertise in polymers, catalysts and sorbents is our work in chemical and biological defense.
TDA has developed and is commercializing a variety of components and devices, including single-use devices, life support equipment, fuel systems and MEMS-based devices. Single-use devices include units that heat individual servings of food or personal care items, and devices that sterilize medical instruments. TDA has built a variety of advanced life-support equipment, including air-revitalization systems, radiators and advanced heat pipes. TDA has a long history in aerospace fuel systems, and especially in the cooling of hypersonic vehicles.
TDA has grown steadily since its founding in 1987. TDA has been profitable every year since its beginning and is now a $11.6 million dollar/year company. Eighty five percent of TDA’s revenues come from its funded research projects, primarily with agencies of the federal government, and fifteen percent from our much more profitable sales of hardware and technology.
Most of the products developed by TDA are not sold by us, but by our manufacturing partners. Last year our partners sold over $3.4 million of products originally developed at TDA, and we expect this number to grow significantly this year.
In addition to the work that we carry out in house, our partners make significant investments in taking our technology from the development and demonstration phase to full-scale manufacturing. In each of the last two years, the investment made by our partners bring our products to market has been larger than the in-house research program at TDA. This money is not spent at TDA, but is spent by our partners on their own people and facilities.
TDA is located just about 10 miles west of Denver. We occupy two facilities with a total area of 50,000 ft2; our original laboratory and corporate offices in Wheat Ridge, and our new Table Mountain facility three miles to the west in Golden.
TDA's Wheat Ridge Facility totals 22,500-ft2, including offices, a 5,000 ft2 wet chemical laboratory, 4,000 ft2 of general dry laboratories, and a 3,500 ft2 high bay experimental facility. The laboratories include seven fume hoods, facilities for controlled atmosphere work, extensive equipment for the synthesis and processing of catalysts, sorbents, ceramics and carbons, a wide variety of analytical instruments including a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, and well-equipped mechanical and electrical shops for the construction and modification of our equipment.
The new Table Mountain Facility (located three miles straight west of our Wheat Ridge buildings) totals 27,000 ft2, including offices, 10,000 ft2 of wet chemical laboratories with 27 fume hoods, 5,000 ft2 of dry labs, and 2,500 ft2 of high bay labs. The Golden facility houses our polymer synthesis and processing laboratories and some of our catalytic process development laboratories.
TDA’s facilities house equipment for the synthesis inorganic materials (sorbents, catalysts, ceramics and carbons), organics and polymers. We have extensive analytical and materials characterization equipment, as well as a wide variety of automated equipment for the testing of catalysts and sorbents. Finally, we have the mechanical and electronics facilities needed to build up and support our experiments.
TDA combines the creativity, drive, speed and flexibility of a small entrepreneurial company with the business acumen that comes having turned concepts into products. Going from idea to product is a multi-step process. In the first step we merge the cutting edge ideas of our staff with the needs of our customers (both federal and commercial). After formulating the initial concept, we generally seek federal funding to support the proof of concept experiments and the initial development. Federally funded R&D is particularly advantageous to us, because the government grants TDA the rights to the intellectual property developed on our government funded projects. TDA has significantly benefited from its participation in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which has provided much of the funding that we have used to develop our technologies.
In some cases, we can move from a leading-edge concept to product in under a few years (take for example, some of our conducting polymers that will go on sale this summer). In other cases, multiple funded projects over a six to ten year period are required for the production technology and the market develop in parallel. For example, it took twelve years for fullerenes (BuckyBalls) to go from a Nobel Prize winning discovery in the laboratory to a forty ton per year fine chemical product.
Most of TDA's products address needs in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the aerospace industry or the military. These industries are populated by large, mature, technically sophisticated companies with extensive manufacturing, marketing and product support capabilities. Virtually all of our projects establish partnerships with such companies in which we work together to bring our products and processes to market. In general, we license our technologies to industry leaders who have the infrastructure needed to rapidly introduce our products and grow their sales.