The founder, Richard Nixdorf, of ICS has over 40 years of experience in developing new ceramic, metal and polymer materials. He has started a number of companies to commercialize various industrial applications of these materials. The fields of use include nuclear reactors, structural composite materials, machine tools, automotive components and others. In the late 1980’s he developed and patented a silicon carbide fiber that had an exceptional property of rapidly converting microwave energy to thermal energy. “Rapidly” means heating to over 1,000oC in 9 seconds in a common kitchen microwave oven.
A potential application evolved with the US Clean Air Act requirement to install particulate filters on diesel engine exhaust by 2007. These filters required in-situ, high temperature cleaning on the diesel vehicle. Therefore, materials of composition must be ceramic or special metals. Industrial Ceramic Solutions, LLC (ICS) was founded in 1997 for the purpose of developing and commercializing a microwave regenerated diesel particulate filter (DPF), using the special silicon carbide fibers. Several million dollars in funding was invested by the US Department of Energy and several diesel engine manufacturers. As 2007 moved closer, ICS had developed an excellent ceramic fiber diesel particulate filter cartridge. However, the use of microwave energy proved to be unworkable. Significant worldwide interest in the ICS DPF cartridge and its ability to be regenerated by other acceptable heat sources caught the interest of several international Tier I automotive suppliers. In 2007, a Fortune 100 company signed an exclusive worldwide license to manufacture and sell the ICS DPF. This license agreement came to an end in 2008 with the depression of the diesel engine market through 2011.
During the slow period for diesel engine sales, ICS moved its high temperature ceramic fiber filter products into industrial and commercial emission control products. The Company is in the process of introducing particulate control filter components into biomass power generation syngas cleaning, restaurant grease emission control and thermal oxidizer applications. Also, as the diesel engine industry recovers in 2012, ICS is moving back into the DPF marketplace.