EcoVapor, which has offices in Greeley and Denver, in March received the early-stage capital and retention grant as part of the state of Colorado’s Advanced Industry Acceleration Program, which awarded grants to startups.
Last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill at EcoVapor’s in office in Greeley that was introduced by Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, and Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, to expand the program.
The measure continues the current $5 million investment in the program during the 2015 and 2016 budget years. The program debuted last year.
The early-stage capital and retention grant that EcoVapor received funds companies that create viable products to meet a market need, are manufactured in Colorado and can be exported globally. The grants are supposed to enhance the commercialization of advanced industry products or services in Colorado.
Founded in 2010, EcoVapor has spent the last few years refining the technology to capture gases such as methane, propane, ethane, butane and hexane that escape from oil-storage tanks. EcoVapor sells the technology to oil and gas companies, which can benefit from the devices by meeting emissions standards while selling the gas that they capture.
“We’re capturing hydrocarbons that are otherwise wasted,´ said EcoVapor’s chief financial officer, Brewster Boyd. “It’s a very valuable gas stream.”
Hans Mueller founded the company and developed the technology as a student at Colorado School of Mines.
“When properly sized, our technology allows for zero emissions well sites that boast even better overall economics,” Mueller said.
EcoVapor employs nine people, including engineers and technicians, and the company has plans to hire additional employees this year.
The company’s largest customer is Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), which is among the largest oil and natural-gas producers in Weld County, though the company has seen interest in its technology from companies operating in oil producing regions nationwide, Boyd said.