CoaLogix Inc.

Sustainable catalyst solutions in North Carolina
Written by: 
Tom Faunce
Produced by: 
Lance Pelletier

With unique and advanced technology, CoaLogix Inc. develops, acquires, integrates and applies technologies to reduce the environmental footprint of coal-fired plants in order to maximize shareholder value. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, CoaLogix has the ability to recycle catalysts for coal-fired plants up to four times and at half the cost of brand new catalysts.

“Every coal-fired plant requires nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide [NOx] reduction, usually through a piece of equipment called a selective catalytic reduction [SCR] catalyst,” says Bill McMahon, president and CEO of CoaLogix. “That box is a huge device that collects all the flu gas that is burned from the boilers. Ammonia is added to the flu gas and the ammonia plus the NOx in the presence of the catalyst produces nitrogen and water with 90 percent efficiency. After the catalyst becomes contaminated, it would go into a landfill if not for our technology. Our technology allows that catalyst to be regenerated and used multiple times.”

Efficient technology

The service that CoaLogix provides produces an enormous environmental gain. Positive results from SCR catalyst management include NOx being removed from the air, reducing landfill waste. There is also a major reduction in energy footprint due to the decrease in production of new catalysts. “We create all these benefits at half the cost of a new catalyst,” says McMahon.

CoaLogix has created a niche market for itself as the only company in the United States possessing the technology to recycle catalysts. While the company works with a large market in the U.S., CoaLogix has recently opened a manufacturing plant in China, which it expects to create a market that will exponentially surpass its U.S. branch.

“In order for a company such as CoaLogix to be successful, there are two necessities to consider when it comes to location, McMahon explains. “The first necessity is a location where there are regulations regarding NOx and the other is the need for multiple power plants which in turn means the need for a location with a large population. The U.S. and China meet those requirements — China having the strictest regulations on NOx.”

While the company has become known for catalyst regeneration, CoaLogix performs a fair amount of testing of the equipment in order to discover the catalyst is deactivating and how the SCR is running. “There are a lot of elements to that,” says McMahon. “We help our customers through all of those.”

Growing enterprise

McMahon joined CoaLogix in 2005, bringing 28 years of business operations, sales, marketing and engineering experience including 25 years in the energy and utility industries. McMahon earned a B.S. degree in nuclear engineering form Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Xavier University.

Beginning his career as a service engineer at Babcock & Wilcox, McMahon was instrumental in starting up coal-fired power plants and environmental equipment and quickly worked his way up to district sales manager. Before joining CoaLogix, McMahon was group vice president and CEO of Ultrapure Water division of Ionics Inc., where he led 14 subsidiaries in both the U.S and internationally.

 In 2007, when the opportunity to purchase the company presented itself, McMahon and his management team decided they would like to invest in ownership of CoaLogix. “We participated in the auction and the management team won with the help of two private equity companies,” recalls McMahon.

In the few years following the purchase, McMahon and his team continued to grow the company. In 2011, the company set its sights on China. “The investors that we had at the time didn’t really have the pockets to go to China so we put the company up for sale again,” says McMahon. “In August 2011 Energy Capital Partners, another private equity firm, bought the company. They currently own CoaLogix and together we are continuing to grow the company.”

As a company that exhausts hundreds of thousands of man hours, safety is a primary concern. CoaLogix is currently celebrating its third year without a single lost-time accident. “We’re very proud of that and our focus on safety,” says McMahon.

McMahon credits the safety record of the company to the focus and quality of the employees that CoaLogix seeks out. “The heart of the company is our staff,” says McMahon. “We continue to recruit and develop really fantastic people here. A lot of people say that but we definitely live by it. With that type of focus, it’s not surprising that we maintain the safety record that we do.”

As the company moves forward and continues to grow, CoaLogix Inc. will maintain its presence in the industry as a leading technology firm providing efficient catalyst regeneration solutions.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Maverick Transportation LLC