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Entrepreneurs roll out MolecuLoc oil spill products

August 12, 2009
GROVETON — Science manager Lou Niles of Whitefield, one of three hands-on investors in an innovative enterprise with the potential for a global reach, discussed the first of MolecuLoc LLC's several products on Monday afternoon at the former Wausau Carrier offices on Route 3, north of town.

The three working investors — science manager Niles, general manager Robert Larson of Groveton, and financial manager Barry Normandeau of Lancaster — formed the limited liability company in March to promote granulated reusable spill recovery and mitigation products that they believe will revolutionize spill control and recovery efforts for fuels, oils, greases, and coolants.

"Our products will change the way the world deals with hydrocarbons; it's a paradigm shift," Mr. Niles explained. "They're 'green' products from start to finish. The used material can be mixed into an asphalt product so that what it has encapsulated will never again be released back into the environment; it's provides a total mitigation that will set a new global standard."

And, Mr. Niles added, these new products are less expensive than the clay-based products that are now typically used and can also be reused four to six times.

"Accident scenes, for example," he said, "will be made safe for both First Responders and accident victims."

The 100 percent naturally occurring volcanic mineral removes carbon molecules from the environment and converts hydrocarbons to a level that is landfill safe, explained Mr. Niles, an innovator who worked as a carpenter-cabinetmaker for 30 years. Working intensely over the last year-and-a-half, he came up with what is now a patented aggregation formula that is used to make an engineered product that amplifies the mineral's natural ability many millions of times over.

"Carbon molecules are drawn into the molecular structure of the mineral," Mr. Niles pointed out. "The product — used for environmental or other disaster relief applications — encapsulate gasoline, diesel, motor and gear oils, transmission fluids, glycols, coolants, greases, battery acids, machines oils, paints and varnishes, lacquers, thinners, and any other petroleum-based hydrocarbon liquids."

MolecuLoc products can be used on land, on shorelands to create a barrier, and in marine environments where the product floats to create a "scab" that can be skimmed from the surface.

A biohazard-grade product made by the company can be used to neutralize blood, urine, and septic materials.

The three investors are now working on developing distribution networks and licensing agreements that will make these products available worldwide.

There are two manufacturing facilities at undisclosed locations — one in the southwest and the other in the upper Midwest.

"National and global demand has far exceeded our expectations," Mr. Niles said.

"We now produce a million pounds a week," he said. "We can upgrade these facilities to manufacture around two million pounds a week, but the market will grow even larger," Mr. Niles predicted. Not every volcanic material — pumice — has the same desirable qualities required by the formula, however, he explained, so location matters.

MolecuLoc's products meet or exceed the standard of Environmental Protection Agency — known as the "one-drop rule," Mr. Niles explained.

Although the manufacturing facilities are not in Groveton, the three investors believe that having the company's headquarters in Groveton will create good jobs to boost the local economy. "Everything will be controlled from here," said Mr. Niles, who noted that he had moved to North Carolina, north of Charlotte, in 2001 but returned in November 2008.

Other related products are already in the works, he explained.

"It's a fantastic partnership; we all put in long hours and complement each other's strengths," Mr. Niles said.

The company's website, which is still under construction is www.moleculoc.com.

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