2006 press release

Vacca, Inc. Designs Flameless Non-Toxic Heater for Inhabited Spaces, Sees Move as Deterrent to Natural Gas Price Gouging

CINCINNATI, OHIO, July 21, 2006– Vacca Incorporated (Vacca) today announced the completion of a 6-month feasibility study of adapting its flameless membrane catalytic combustion technology to heating spaces in inhabitable structures. The study was undertaken by Vacca in drawing upon the company’s scope of expertise successfully utilized in fulfilling a range of military and private sector contracts.


Reaching this milestone, the company is transitioning to the design phase of heating systems operating in the 3 to 20 KW range (10,000 to 68,000 BTU), and it projects a three to six month lead time to production startup.


"We are working with a municipality in the USA to put the first of these new units into daily operation," said Giampaolo Vacca, CEO, "and plan by their proliferation to make heating by renewable fuels more available to the consumer. In this way, we anticipate spearheading a deterrent to artificial price spirals in the petroleum fuels markets."


The company's flameless membrane catalytic energy products, which are based on proprietary and patent pending technologies, have shown unique simplicity and self-starting operability without moving parts in heating applications, passive self-regulation, and are a close fit in hybrids using heat driven processes also to produce electricity and/or provide chilling.


Production of such hybrid units, some incorporating fuel cells, thermopiles, and/or heat driven compressors is planned by the company as a high priority upon the deployment of its space heating products. All operating components of Vacca’s hybrid systems are expected to utilize the same alternative fuel, likely methanol, ethanol, or hydrogen.


A majority of methanol today is manufactured from natural gas near the well head as a practical means of shipping large quantities of a non-compressed fuel over long distances. However, methanol and ethanol can both be made from renewable resources like wastes from agricultural processes, municipalities or food processing operations, and waste products such as waste paper or grass and tree trimmings.


When made from such biomass, alcohols are sometimes termed "carbon neutral" because carbon dioxide is consumed by their contemporary formation, reducing its net release to the atmosphere upon their combustion. When heating by flameless membrane catalytic combustion of methanol and other renewable fuels, the only byproducts of Vacca’s systems are water vapor and carbon dioxide.



TBD

CINCINNATI, OHIO, April 19, 2006 – Vacca Incorporated (Vacca) today announced the start of work under a DOD contract to apply its flameless membrane catalytic heater technology to the army group ration known as the Unitized Group Ration – Express, or UGR-E.


The current group ration design utilizes a magnesium corrosion method to produce heat, a technique also emitting flammable hydrogen gas as a byproduct. The UGR-E can emit up to 11 cubic feet of hydrogen, creating an explosion or fire hazard in confined spaces. Under-consumed magnesium powder also create disposal safety issues because it can be activated by ground water, condensation or other moisture even in the absence of air.


Under the new contract, Vacca will utilize alcohol fuel via a patent pending and proprietary process to provide the energetics for this feeding system without toxic or flammable byproducts. The contract will culminate in a full scale 6 lb food tray heating demonstration in new prototype packaging of Vacca’s design. The new system will utilize a renewable and biodegradable fuel, and is further expected to provide a weight reduction to the assembly.


"We are extremely pleased to work with the army on this project, because it further validates the prior work we did to catalytically mitigate hydrogen generated by the existing system while reducing its overall weight," said Giampaolo Vacca, CEO. "It further demonstrates our company’s credibility as a solutions provider, to be contracted to correct a current design, and also to show our own de novo approach," he said.


The company's flameless membrane catalytic alternative energy products have shown unique simplicity and self-starting operability without moving parts in heating applications, and in heat driven processes also producing electricity and/or chilling.



AFRL Develops Biofuel Powered Heated Vest

Accomplishment: The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/ML), in collaboration with Vacca Inc., and in consultation with the Army Natick Soldier Center, financed the development of a low-cost, lightweight heated vest. Using methanol or ethanol fuel, the vest provides enduring heat to military personnel.

Payoff: The heated vest enhances an individual’s agility in the field through a 50 percent reduction in cold weather gear. It aids a person’s ability to maintain normal body temperature in harsh winter environments. The technology revolutionizes weight and efficiency of the heated garment market.


Background: Around the world, military personnel from Alaska to Afghanistan operate in harsh, frigid environments. Temperatures in the Afghani Mountains have been recorded as low as –51oF, while Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska sees up to 69 inches of snowfall each year and many bases have much more snow than this.


Military personnel must have user-friendly, affordable and enduring protection from inclement weather c onditions. In searching for a solution, ML evaluated several methods to maintain a healthy body temperature in these colder climates by conducting market research and consulting with AFRL’s Propulsion Directorate, the Army Natick Soldier Center, OnPoint Technologies and the Air Force’s Force Protection Battlelab. Vacca Incorporated’s biofuel powered flameless catalytic heaters showed significant promise in meeting military personnel’s cold weather needs. Through the Company Grade Officer Initiative, ML funded the integration of the heaters into a vest.


The lightweight, easy-to-use prototype combines a standard work vest with two of Vacca Incorporated’s biofuel powered heaters in the two front panels of the vest. Using fuel cell concepts developed at Los Alamos National Laboratories, Vacca Incorporated. developed heaters that work by passing methanol or ethanol across a catalyst membrane. The reaction byproducts are heat, carbon dioxide, and small traces of water. Currently weighing only 12 ounces, and having the potential to weigh 8 ounces in future designs, the prototype weighs dramatically less than the 1.7 pound commercial products on the market today.


The prototype provides enduring heat and comfort over existing approaches. The 15-piece cold weather uniform, currently worn by military personnel, can be bulky and cumbersome to wear and carry. Additionally, these individuals are at greater risk when they must take off body armor to add or remove layers of clothes. Commercially introduced lithium ion heated jackets provide heat for 2.5-3 hours before recharging the battery. In contrast, Vacca Incorporated’s revolutionary prototype, according to the company’s final report, can last 22 hours with 100cc of fuel in low heat mode (22 Watt) and 12 hours in high heat mode (42 Watt). The vest’s internal fuel supply has high/low/off settings for increased control.


Both the vest and fuel are much more affordable to the Department of the Defense compared to the available commercial products. Current commercial products cost over $500 per unit, while the full-scale version of Vacca Incorporated’s technology will cost $150-$250. Market rates for methanol fuel are between $3 and $5 a gallon.


The prototypes purchased by ML are currently being used to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology. With additional funding to develop flexible heaters, user-friendly fuel storage and a robust heat distribution system, the product could be ready for launch by 2007.



 

About Vacca, Incorporated
Vacca, Inc. is a privately held developer, manufacturer, and licensor of high performance alternative energy products and system solutions. The company’s roster of mobile self-heated products is growing, and it is actively engaged with prospective licensees, wide-geography distributors, overseas manufacturing partners and DOD contract managers. Vacca’s scope of heat-driven applications also includes absorption chilling and enhanced efficiency for fuel cells and thermoelectric units in hybrid heating/cooling/electric systems.


Vacca, Inc. was founded in April 2004 by Giampaolo Vacca to commercialize a license acquired to a worldwide flameless membrane catalytic heating technology for products using renewable fuels. He earlier founded a provider of ultra-insulated shipping containers, and it was in pursuing that business that Mr. Vacca became interested in mobile energy solutions. For more information, please visit the Vacca, Inc. web site at http://www.vaccainc.com/. For more information please contact:

Vacca, Incorporated
3476 Irwin Simpson Road
Suite 105
Mason, OH 45040
www.vaccainc.com

Giampaolo Vacca, CEO
gvacca@vaccainc.com

Lawrence Weber, Ph.D., President
lweber@vaccainc.com

© 2008 Vacca, Inc.