Oxford Catalysts Group, which has developed new catalysts that, among other things, transform waste methane into hydrogen for use with fuel cells or into Fischer-Tropsch liquid fuels (earlier post), has gone public on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in an IPO that raised £15 million (US$18.8 million)—£14 million net of expenses.
The over-subscribed placement of 8,620,690 shares valued the Company at £65 million (US$81 million).
The basis of the technology is an innovative method for catalyst preparation that enables a catalytically active component(s) or its precursor(s) to be deposited on a support in a controlled manner. Accordingly, certain properties of the catalyst, for example its activity and/or selectivity, may be controlled.
Oxford Catalysts’ carbide-based catalysts can match or exceed the benefits of traditional precious metal catalysts for certain reactions, typically those involving hydrocarbons, at a lower cost.
The company has developed and licensed its technology with applications in the following markets:
Converting natural gas or coal into Fischer-Tropsch fuels (GTL and CTL);
Removal of sulfur from hydrocarbon fuels (hydro-desulfurization (HDS);
Producing hydrogen on demand for fuel cells at room temperature. This technology has the potential to significantly accelerate the commercial adoption of fuel cells in the portable and other mobile applications markets; and
Producing high-temperature steam ((up to 800° C) from a methanol and hydrogen peroxide blend starting from ambient temperatures for use in portable and motive applications. No flame or external heat source is required.
The Company will apply the net proceeds of the placement to provide working capital to finance the development and commercialization strategy.
A spin-off from Oxford University, the company is based on technology which has been developed over 19 years at Oxford by Dr Tiancun Xiao, of the Wolfson Catalysis Centre and the Chemistry Department, and Professor Malcolm Green, of the Inorganic Chemistry Department.