Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Neumann Systems Group seems to have vanished

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Something's up with Neumann Systems Group.

That's the outfit headed by David Neumann, former Air Force physicist who invented pollution control equipment that's now removing sulfur dioxide from emissions at the city-owned downtown Drake Power Plant, which burns coal.

Colorado Springs Utilities struck a deal with Neumann years ago to design and install his new technology on Drake, which served as a guinea pig, for the new approach. In exchange, the city was granted a cut of the action on future sales.

But now the company seems to have vanished.

The last Facebook post on its website was entered in 2015, and its office phone number doesn't work anymore. When we called it Tuesday afternoon, we got this message, "You have reached a number that is no longer in service."

An attempt to reach the Neumann website yielded this:
screen_shot_2017-04-18_at_3.03.02_pm.png
The company's Colorado Secretary of State filings show a change of address for the company was made in December 2016, noting its new address is a home north of the city. The home is owned by Diane Neumann, to which David Neumann quit claimed the house in 2007.

So we asked Colorado Springs Utilities, which has spent about $170 million on the NeuStream technology to scrub pollutants from Drake's emissions, about the company's status.

From Utilities' Amy Trinidad via email:
The Neumann System Group successfully fulfilled its contract with Colorado Springs Utilities by providing us with the technology to reduce sulfur dioxide from the emissions at the Martin Drake Power Plant. The equipment is operating as expected and we are on track to meeting new Regional Haze mandates pertaining to sulfur dioxide at the end of this year. It was last September when we took full control of this system. Since that time, our employees have been operating and maintaining it.
When we noted to her that that didn't answer our question, she responded in an email, saying, "We cannot speak on behalf of NSG. You will have to reach out to Dr. Neumann. NSG's work with Utilities is complete."

So we drove to the company's headquarters at 890 Elkton Drive. On the door we found this notice:
click to enlarge PHOTOS BY PAM ZUBECK
  • Photos by Pam Zubeck

So we walked over to Suite 103. There was no sign. We peered into the window and saw this:
click to enlarge emptybuilding.jpg

We've sent Neumann an email to the last address we had for him and also left him a voice mail on the number have for him. We'll report back if and when we hear anything.

While the Neumann technology has been shown to work perfectly, perhaps a device that makes coal more palatable in today's world of a growing interest in renewables was doomed from the start?

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