Note to Reporters: A photo of Ken Reardon is available with this release at www.news.colostate.edu
OptiEnz Sensors LLC, founded in 2010 by Ken Reardon, professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Colorado State University, has been selected to present at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Industry Growth Forum on Dec. 3 and 4 in Denver. The company, which develops biosensors to measure organic contaminants in liquids, has completed prototype development and is moving into the production and sales phase.
The NREL Industry Growth Forum features presentations from 30 emerging clean energy startups. Each year, the best presenters are awarded cash prizes and commercialization services from NREL. These companies will be able to present their business endeavors to an important audience of corporations, investors, and government agencies.
Since 2003, the presenting clean-tech companies have collectively raised more than $5 billion in growth financing, according to NREL.
"Only the most compelling clean-tech startup companies are selected to present at NREL’s Industry Growth Forum," said Rob Writz, director of clean technology programs at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere, where the office and laboratories of OptiEnz are located.
The NREL presentation is only one of several prestigious presentation opportunities for OptiEnz in recent months. On Nov. 7, the company appeared at the Colorado Capital Conference of the Rockies Venture Club. In June, OptiEnz was one of three winners of the Rocky Mountain regional Clean Tech Open, which earned the company a spot in the national competition Nov. 20-21 in San Jose.
The technology used by OptiEnz is a breakthrough in biosensors, a significant achievement by Reardon. In the past, identifying compounds such as benzene, melamine, gasoline, solvents, nerve agents and even sugars or alcohols required physical sample collection, chemical pretreatment, and processing through a gas or liquid chromatograph to finally produce a single data point.
Reardon’s OptiEnz sensors perform real-time, continuous, in-place measurements, with applications in continuous water quality monitoring, process control, and process optimization. Instead of having to put liquid samples through an extensive multi-step process to determine contaminant levels, Reardon’s patented and patent pending sensors provide a portable way to obtain more data for less money.
OptiEnz’s biosensors have applications across several fields. In the food and beverage industry, it allows for process control monitoring, real-time food safety monitoring, and flow control. In the environmental sector, OptiEnz sensors can act as gas well and fracking fluid sentry monitors, monitor water quality in wells, rivers, and lakes; characterize contaminated sites; conduct site remediation and process tuning; and monitor water treatment process control. In the bioprocess industry, the technology can be used for real-time monitoring of sugars and alcohols. OptiEnz is already working with private food processors, biotech companies, and environmental engineering firms to conduct sensor evaluations.
OptiEnz obtained the rights to use the biosensor technology via a license agreement with CSU Ventures, the commercialization agent of Colorado State University. Reardon continues to work with CSU Ventures to transfer the biosensor technology to the global marketplace.
For more information, go to csuventures.org.