Project image
pledged of 18.000 $pledged of 18.000 $ goal
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 21 2013 12:30 PM UTC +00:00
EcoviateBy Ecoviate
First created
EcoviateBy Ecoviate
First created
pledged of 18.000 $pledged of 18.000 $ goal
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 21 2013 12:30 PM UTC +00:00

A Reply to the Commenters!

Posted by Ecoviate (Creator)

So to start, as Kickstarter guidelines point out, lets try to keep the comments about the product and away from personal attacks. We are working hard to make a change and many of the things that have been said have been at a personal level rather than focusing on our campaign. If you have a deeper problem with us, feel free to shoot us a message and we can, maturely and professionally, have a discussion. 

So from a product standpoint, we were approved by Kickstarter. This means that they completely understood where we were in the development of the product. We have built a functional prototype and done initial testing (basic reduction in carbon dioxide, back flow, etc.) but still have not finalized designs. This is why we stated in the Kickstarter about sending all of our backers our final designs and data before we even release the product. There are still many things that need to be done before we send the product out: product tooling and increasing design efficiency!

There are still a few things we are figuring out and that will be done by the time we send out the product. These include how we are minimizing back flow with a better more creative design, how to recycle the product and use the bi-products in other applications, and how to integrate everything with the mobile-application. As to the back flow, over the past few days we have been talking to engineers (many local to Nashville) about potential design iterations to eliminate the back flow. As to the recyclability, because much of the sodium (bi)carbonate is disposed of, we are working on a material we can use to withstand the high heat and pressure of the exhaust stream and something that is durable as well. As to the application, we're letting the people that are writing the app take care of that (that stuff is way over our heads!).

The current external structure is just some stuff we found at a local hardware shop and is in no way final. We just needed something that would hold for our testing and do not plan on (and have not been) using a petroleum based pvc pipe for the co2ube. From a product development stand point, we have done initial testing and have found a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. As we have discussed, we are in no way 100% there and we are using Kickstarter as a way to get closer to our goals and deliver this device to all of our backers.

The CO2ube is a general carbon capture idea. It can be applied to any carbon dioxide emissions source (the materials have to change slightly due to a more hydrogen or carbon intensive fuel source). Ecoviate has done some work with existing plants at a macro-scale with our patented technology, but have not released anything at the micro-level like the device in this Kickstarter. Due to this, we are probably going to ditch the algae photosynthesis (even though the media loved it) from the device due to problems we are encountering including sustaining photosynthesis, getting it light energy without increasing cost incredibly, and even if all things go right, how to minimize back flow with such large biomass. Because of this, we are sticking with acid/base reduction and have recently been testing some new mechanisms to further the reaction.

There is a reason we have not publicly released our data (and no, it's not a pride issue as some of the comments suggest!): we want to be third party validated before we make any claims. We are currently working with some fleet owners and have given them our data- they are also waiting on our independent testing! As this process is taking place, our backers will be receiving design iterations and our data (that will be from Oak Ridge and/or Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research). We are planning on setting up a live feed to watch the independent testing and all of the planned capabilities they have. This includes a variety of terrain simulations, weather simulations, and even a treadmill type engine/exhaust system to test long-term durability and fuel consumption. 

We would not be releasing a product if it did not reduce carbon emissions- that would just be bad engineering. The 6-8 weeks is based on absorption rate of our filter and that we have found in our initial testing. Because of recent design changes, we are adding more sodium hydroxide and another mechanism within the filter. The output sodium hydroxide is not being contained in the co2ube, but rather, we have set up a method to dispose of it once it is pH neutral (or enough to meet epa standards).

We only have 10 days left and if you believe in our vision and our ability to deliver this product, back us! We will keep all of our backers up-to-date with the development and data-tracking. 

Just like Ryan Gosling, we wont let pollution hurt you! 

  • Image 306977 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Missing avatar

      DoubleE on

      Thanks for the update. I have faith in your vision. If the schedule slips during this startup phase just to get the product right, I'm happy to wait for a product that works. Even if all I get is that the development of this product made you re-think some things, take a different approach, and yet create a product in the future that helps the environment in some way, I'm very happy to back this project. I don't need the chemistry or other technical information as long as you stick with your vision to create something that reduces CO2 emissions. Keep at it! I'm with you!

    2. Steve Baker on

      @Andy: I know from past Kickstarter experience that some people didn't know that they could increase, reduce or reverse their pledges. (The only thing you can't do is to pledge twice to the same project with the same user account).

      FYI: At the top right corner of every project page, where it tells you how much the project raised - there is a button labeled "Manage Your Pledge". Right there, you can change the reward you want and the amount you wish to pledge (either up or down) - or you can go to the bottom of that page and select "Cancel pledge". The only catch is that you can only do this before the project completes because Amazon takes the money from your credit card within minutes of the project completion.

      A common thing to do (and what I've done here) is to reduce your pledge to $1 and select "No Reward" in order that you may continue to get project updates and to contribute to the discussion. If at any time, you feel you are again satisfied with the way the project is running, you can increase your pledge and get a reward.)

    3. Andy Lundell

      I'll be surprised if this non-answer to serious questions and admission that the product isn't done yet doesn't cause people to back out of their pledges.

      This project started as a neat science fair demonstration. Sadly, Ecoviate hasn't given us any reason to believe that it's progressed past that point.

    4. Andy Lundell

      I didn't suggest you were hiding your data out of "pride", I suggested either ignorance or outright fraud.

      You say you're waiting for "third party validation“ before you'll tell us if your product works. What if the "third party" gives you bad news? Will you immediately cancel the kickstarter? Or will that bad news unfortunately not come soon enough to stop our money from falling into your pocket?

      The idea of putting a chemical filter on the tailpipe is not new. It would be worth billions to Ford or GM. You honestly think they hadn't thought of it? Tell us how you beat them.

      You can't expect us to take on faith that you've beaten scientists the world over but want our money before you'll prove it.

      Heck, never mind proving anything, you want our money before you'll even make a clear statement about what your device does!



      1) How much carbon is removed?
      2) How are you removing a useful amount of carbon with so little NaHO? (Not by the formula on your project page, that's for sure!)
      3) NaHO (aka 'lye') is not realy safe, what have you done to MAKE it safe?

      If you don't ALREADY have answers prepared for these simple, obvious questions then you shouldn't be asking for money.

    5. Steve Baker on

      @Blake - check out my last thought in the comment section.

    6. Blake Lemmons

      Guys, I backed you because I have hope that every little idea, no matter who it comes from, would become something and that one day a product would be available in some form to reduce or eliminate co2 emissions. Your kickstarter campaign led to believe most of this was figured out already. But this latest message really appears that this is still just an idea that hasn't been fully tested and your product just really isn't a product yet, or even close to it. I'm not shooting you guys down, I really do like the idea, but the other comment here about maybe needing to rethink this campaign might be accurate. The last thing you want is to finally bring this great idea to product, at some point, but everyone associates it with a bad kickstarter PR campaign. Just my thoughts.

    7. Steve Baker on

      @Spencer: I agree. But doesn't actually matter what production process you use to create the NaOH. The fact is that the reaction that converts CO2(aq)+2NaOH into sodium carbonate and water requires energy. That energy is stored in the NaOH molecule. Since NaOH isn't a naturally occurring substance (you have to make it in a factory) - the energy consumption required to create a kilogram of the stuff by far exceeds the amount of energy created by producing the half-kilo of CO2 that it can sequester.

      The laws of thermodynamics are a harsh mistress...and they doom the CO2ube to being both ineffective *AND* horribly, horribly bad for the environment!

    8. Spencer Gore on

      (Clarification: the Chloroalki process refers to the manufacture of sodium hydroxide, not sodium carbonate)

    9. Spencer Gore on


      I again reiterate my suggestion to consider suspending the campaign until some of the more fundamental physics questions are resolved.

      While the idea of using sodium carbonate to sequester carbon is well-intended, I ask that you investigate further the Chloralkali process used to manufacture it; in essence, the tens of gigatons of CO2 we release into the atmosphere would be need to be replaced with emissions of tens of gigatons of toxic chlorine gas.

      Carrying enough sodium hydroxide to react with vehicle CO2 emissions would mean carrying around thousands of extra pounds (cutting fuel economy by approximately 60%), and there is no way given the laws of thermodynamics to have a chemical loop that recycles the sodium hydroxide.

      I again urge you, as a supporter and a colleague, to take down the Kickstarter until these questions are answered. I'm always willing to help with the science.

    10. Steve Baker on

      (You really do need to change the entire KS page - it still says "The device uses photosynthesis".)

      I just noticed that you claim to "decimate" CO2 emissions. Do you know what that word means? From "deci" - it means "remove one tenth part of" this is an implict claim to remove 10% of the CO2. The chemistry makes it clear that you can't possibly be removing more than one part in a thousand using a device that lasts longer than a few weeks.

    11. Steve Baker on

      OK - so no more algae. At least that simplifies the discussion.

      (I hope you're going to remove all of the now-false statements about EPA support - because according to the available information about their interest in your science-fair device - that was a pure Algae solution. Now that you're not doing it that way - all of their support is irrelevant to this new device.)

      The Acid/Base approach means that you'd need 18kg of NaOH base to completely remove the CO2 from one gallon of gasoline - that's basic chemistry from the equation you conveniently provided us with.

      To have a device that removes (let's say) just 1% of the CO2 produced from a burning 10 gallons of gas means that it needs to consume almost 2kg of sodium hydroxide...and once it's gone, it's gone and will have to be replaced.

      2kg would be a lot of extra weight to hang on a tailpipe...but even at a fairly pathetic 1% absorption rate - you'd still have to replace the chemicals with every 10 gallons of gas.

      This new idea still cannot possibly work.