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A Green Chimney
Sarah Rich, 11 Dec 06
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When POM Wonderful first appeared in grocery fridges a few years ago, pomegranates were obscure at best amongst general consumers. But billing itself as the drink of long-life and eternal youth, POM brought the hard-to-crack fruit out of obscurity and into feverish demand. Now pomegranates can be found in everything from fancy cocktails to salad dressings, and POM Wonderful is an astonishingly high-grossing company (nearly $100 million) given that it specializes in juicing a strange fruit that had its last heyday somewhere in the pages of Greek mythology. And given that POM's identity revolves around enabling superhuman lifespans, it only makes sense that the company would be considering climate change in its business decisions. After all, what good is immortality without a livable planet?

POM's Los Angeles factory is about to get the first "liquid chimney" ever installed in an industrial facility -- a technology that mitigates greenhouse gas emissions by capturing CO2 and transporting the gases through a tank full of liquid that turns harmful emissions into harmless (or even beneficial) substances. The liquid chimney was developed by an Ohio HVAC engineer named Tom Kiser, who owns a company called Professional Supply, Inc. Kiser's nearly 30-year-old company has participated in some major projects over the years, the most high-profile being Bill McDonough's green overhaul of Ford's River Rouge factory. Kiser's part involved the installation of highly efficient alternatives to coal-burning furnaces which circulate air, recover escaping heat, control the indoor climate, and save Ford pots of money in the process.

What's particularly interesting about Kiser's story, as CNN Money points out, is that he's not a tree-hugging, green-loving environmentalist. No, he's a private jet-owning, giant car-driving football coach who wants to save his customers money, and make some of his own in the process. His liquid chimney, it seems, can do just that.

The basic technology for liquid chimneys - so called because the exhaust from a power plant is filtered through a liquid-filled tank - has been around for 30 years.
Kiser, however, has made his patent-pending system more efficient and believes that he is close to a working model that could be retrofitted to existing industrial furnaces or boilers that run on natural gas. Eventually he hopes to get the technology to work with any fossil fuel, including coal.

And because it addresses arguably the most severe environmental challenge facing the planet today, Kiser is thinking big and looking widely at opportunities -- particularly in China -- where coal needs to go, and the only way to get rid of it is to have a solution that will improve the bottom-line while averting massive planetary crisis. If he can prove that it's effective on both fronts, investors may perk up.

The antioxidant-weilding leaders at POM already believe in the idea. They regard the liquid chimney as just one part of a larger amalgamation of new technologies that could revolutionize their juice factory and turn it into a self-sustaining life-extension production facility.

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Interesting... Just read about POM on PETA's site. Not that PETA is always reliable, but interesting that POM is thinking more green a bit more, but are apparently using animals in there testing....

Posted by: Andrew on 11 Dec 06

I have also read that POM is killing animals for their juice. I love their juice, but it seems ridiculous to be testing it on animals. I can't support a company like that, green chimney or not.

Posted by: Stewart on 11 Dec 06

Forget the company and focus on the Innovator/Inventor. He's the same guy who was behind the River Rouge Ford Manufacturing Plants new "Bright Green" persona which is more then just a facade.

Posted by: Chris on 12 Dec 06

Ouch. I hadn't heard that about POM. I love their product. Kudos to them for working with Tom, he's doing some amazing work. Hopefully, they'll snap out of whatever they're doing with this animal testing. Not appetizing.

Posted by: Lyle Solla-Yates on 12 Dec 06

Thank you for your story. I just learned that POM Wonderful, which sells fruit juices, is funding cruel deadly experiments on animals.

Naked Juice, Frutzzo, Old Orchard, Lakewood, and other pomegranate juice companies do not test on animals. Unfortunately, POM has paid experimenters to do numerous cruel tests. In one test, just as an example, the arteries of rabbits were critically damaged to simulate erectile dysfunction. It makes absolutely no sense for a juice company to test on animals.

Please consider no longer drinking POM products until the company agrees to use accurate non-animal test methods such as human clinical trials instead of using animals.

Posted by: William McMullin on 24 Dec 06



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