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ThermoEnergy Corporation announced that the Chinese Patent Office granted the patent for the Company's renewable energy technology known as the ThermoFuel Process ("TFP"). This is the second of the Company's patent applications to be granted in China. The Enhanced Biogas Production process ("EnBP"), received a Chinese patent in 2006. TFP will allow new or existing wastewater treatment plants in China to convert their sewage sludge into a high-energy fuel, while at the same time, enhancing the recovery of ammonia from the plants digesters to make a commercial grade fertilizer.
"This represents a seminal event for the Company," said Dennis Cossey, CEO of ThermoEnergy. We have been developing a China Strategy ever since Alex Fassbender, the Company's EVP and chief technology officer, accompanied Secretary of Commerce Guiterrez on a trade mission to China in November of 2006. The issuance of the TFP patent will allow the Company to begin implementation of this strategy."
According to Fassbender, "China's massive and accelerating economic growth over the past two decades has generated acute environmental challenges, especially where water is concerned. However, the complexities of doing business in China are well documented, and the Company adopted a 'take-it- slow' approach to doing business in China until the patents for its key water/wastewater treatment technologies were granted by the Central Government."
The US Department of Commerce's 2005 report entitled Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Market in China projects that China will spend upwards of (US)$22 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure by 2013. The company is currently in negotiations with a Chinese entity to jointly market the company's proprietary and patented water technologies within China.