Background/Early Project History

Monolith Materials (formerly Boxer Industries), a 100% private equity funded start-up, approached Zeton in early 2013 to discuss a new demonstration plant project. The process technology converts methane into carbon black and hydrogen.

Traditionally, carbon black is produced by the partial combustion of heavy petroleum feedstocks (decant oil), in a low yield process. With the price of oil (in 2013) at over $90 per barrel and an abundance of cheap natural gas in North America, the economics favored Monolith’s process, which directly converts methane (75% carbon) into carbon black at high yield. Furthermore, the process produces a valuable co-product, hydrogen, while greatly reducing emissions – a true win-win for industry and the environment.

Monolith assembled a team of experts in carbon black to support Zeton’s project team through the Basic Engineering Study phase of the project. During that study, Zeton worked collaboratively with Monolith’s staff and experts to find innovative solutions to some of the challenging problems associated with a high temperature process generating both solid and gaseous products. Working collaboratively, a lump sum proposal for the demonstration plant was presented in August 2013, and a rapid decision to proceed to the build phase was made.

Shop Fabrication

Following project sanction, the detailed design, procurement, fabrication and factory testing phase of the project began in September 2013. Fabricated in Zeton’s Burlington, ON shop, detailed design, procurement and fabrication were executed in parallel to accelerate the overall project schedule. The plant itself occupied 8 skids. Each skid was standalone mechanically and electrically to minimize reassembly work at site. Following factory testing, the individual skid modules were shipped to Redwood City, CA in June 2014.

Demonstration Program

Starting in June 2014, Monolith operated the plant to demonstrate the performance and reliability of the process, and to help design its first commercial plant, currently under construction in Hallam, Nebraska. The carbon black produced was evaluated for a wide range of end markets.

In October 2018, Monolith decommissioned the demonstration plant in Redwood City, CA, and brought the site back to its original condition. The team of engineers, scientists, technicians, and operators who ran the demonstration plant relocated to Nebraska to support construction, commissioning, and eventual operation of Monolith’s first commercial plant.

Monolith’s First Commercial Plant

Monolith is now in late stage construction on the first commercial unit of an eventual world-scale carbon black facility located just south of Lincoln, Nebraska. The first unit will come on line in 2019, with subsequent phases being planned through the early 2020s. The plant is ideally located next to natural gas and electrical infrastructure. There is Class 1 rail on site, and several carbon black customers are within a few hundred miles. Monolith has partnered with the Nebraska Public Power District who agreed to purchase Monolith’s co-product, hydrogen, and refuel an existing coal-fired power plant with clean burning hydrogen. This has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

When fully built, Monolith’s Nebraska facility will support hundreds of high paying manufacturing jobs, have over $500M of annual economic impact, and improve the local airshed while helping to reduce global climate change.

Robert Hanson, Co-Founder and CEO, Monolith Materials: “Having a partner like Zeton has been instrumental to our success these past 5 years. They are experienced, intelligent, rigorous, and understand the nuance of designing demonstration plants that both validate core process innovations as well as demonstrate operational reliability. Hands down, the best in the business.”

  Zeton and Air Company develop novel CO2 to Ethanol Pilot Plant

Chris Brown, recently retired VP of Engineering at Zeton, worked collaboratively with Dr. Stafford Sheehan, CTO of Air Company and author of over 35 scientific publications and patents, to design and build a CO2 to Ethanol Pilot Plant. Dr. Sheehan, who is recognized internationally for his research converting carbon dioxide to alcohol that landed him a spot on Forbes’ 30 under 30, has developed a high yield catalyst that efficiently produces ethanol from CO2 for use in the food and beverage, flavours and fragrances, and cosmetics industries. A net user of CO2, Dr. Sheehan’s process has marketing appeal to companies that use this high purity intermediate in their consumer products. The evolution of Air Company from a small start-up laboratory, through to the completion of this milestone pilot plant, was achieved on a shoestring budget made possible through visionary investors, matching funds from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) for engineering development and Zeton’s creative approach to value engineering and fabrication.

As is often the case with start-ups pursuing catalyst technology development, scaling the process from the laboratory to the pilot plant, and fundraising, are the main challenges Air Company faced on its way to commercialization. Kenneth Agee and the team at Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) worked closely with Staff to understand his technology, completing contract R&D work that characterized catalyst performance and yields on EFT’s fixed bed reactor equipment. Following successful completion of this test work, Zeton completed a full process design, translating catalyst yield information, the process model and conceptual reactor design into a practical pilot plant design. Taking advantage of Zeton’s Basic Engineering project execution methodology, Dr. Sheehan worked closely with Chris Brown to distill the core objectives of the pilot plant, minimizing the scope and cost while meeting the program objectives. The completed 1 L/h pilot plant, photographed during factory testing in Zeton’s shop, will be operated at a location in Brooklyn, NY. It will be a central instrument for collecting process data, and will take Air Company one step closer to technology commercialization.

  David Beckman Receives PEO/OSPE Entrepreneurship Award

Congratulations to CEO David Beckman on being awarded the 2018 Ontario Professional Engineers Engineering Medal for Entrepreneurship. David received his medal from the leaders of PEO and OSPE at the Awards Gala on Saturday November 17, 2018 at the International Centre in Mississauga. Joining David and his wife, Paula, at the awards ceremony were Zeton’s President, Leisl Dukhedin-Lalla, and Engineering Manager, Ravin Dave, and their partners.

For further information on the award, and David’s contribution to Zeton over the past 33 years, please visit and

  David Beckman Elected to CSChE Board of Directors

Congratulations to CEO David Beckman on being elected to the CSChE Board of Directors as President at the 68th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Toronto on October 31, 2018.

Meet the 2018-19 CSChE President David Beckman, P.Eng, CEO of Zeton Inc. David is also on the Board of Advisors for the University of Toronto, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.

Read More -

  Zeton Assists OMV in Realizing the ReOil Recycling Plant

Beginning with a Basic Design Study in 2016, Zeton has assisted OMV in realizing the ReOil recycling plant, which produces synthetic crude oil from plastic waste.

OMV’s innovative ReOil plant, which has been designed and build by Zeton, started operations in 2018 and can process up to 100 kilogram per hour of plastic packaging into synthetic crude. The video explains how the innovative ReOil facility was transported in 20 modules and a 16 vehicle convoy to the OMV Schwechat Refinery in Austria after 6 months of manufacturing and testing in the Netherlands.

Additional information:

  Precision Specialized wins Truck News Hauling Job of the Year 2018

A Precision Specialized Division video on the award-winning shipment of a large, multi-modular process plant from Zeton Inc.'s Burlington, ON facility to its final destination on the US East Coast.

  Leadership announcement – February 28, 2018, Burlington, ON

David Beckman, President & CEO of Zeton Inc. in Burlington, is pleased to announce that Leisl Dukhedin-Lalla, Vice President of Operations, will assume the position of President of Zeton Inc. effective March 1, 2018. As part of this leadership transition, David will become CEO of Zeton Inc. Recently celebrating her 16th anniversary at Zeton, Leisl has a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering from University of Toronto. Since joining Zeton in 2002, she has worked closely with Zeton’s customers in a number of fields including gas to liquids, chemicals, polymers, heavy oil upgrading, specialty and electronic chemicals, sanitary and biopharma, bioenergy/biofuels and oil & gas/refining.

  Zeton Inc. named as a 2018 Business Excellence Award finalist

Zeton Inc. is honored to be named as a finalist for the 2018 Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award in the category of Manufacturer. Receiving a plaque at a finalist reception on March 14, 2018 on behalf of Zeton are John Grieve, Plant Manager, and David Edwards, VP Sales & Marketing. Also pictured in the photo are Keith Hoey, President of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, and John Chisholm, Partner and CEO of SB Partners LLP, which sponsored the evening. The winner will be announced at the Chamber Business Awards Gala on April 5

Image courtesy of CSChE.
  2017 CSChE Design and Industrial Practice Award winner – David Beckman

Congratulations to Zeton Inc.’s President & CEO, David Beckman, on being named the 2017 CSChE Design and Industrial Practice Award winner. David was presented the award by University of Calgary’s Prof. Uttandaraman Sundararaj at a special awards banquet at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on October 24, 2017. An announcement about the award can be found at the following link:

  SABIC’s latest PP pilot plant is now operational in the Netherlands

SABIC’s latest pilot plant for development of next-generation polypropylenes is now on-stream in Sittard-Geleen, The Netherland -- installed in just two weeks by Zeton.

  Continuous API Manufacturing Pilot Plant supplied by Zeton to GSK

Read how GSK is intensifying their chemical manufacturing processes using modular plant design to support their goals of providing affordable and high quality medicines.

  Join Zeton at the tcbiomass2017 Conference

Join Zeton at the tcbiomass2017 Conference in Chicago from Sept 19-21, and be part of the bioenergy revolution!

  New PP Pilot Plant Enables SABIC to Meet Key Industry Needs

SABIC will have a new pilot plant for development of next-generation polypropylenes on-stream in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, by the end of March next year. It has contracted Zeton to develop a skid-mounted system that accelerates implementation times and allows full design flexibility:

  New Pilot Plant Demonstrates the Potential to Co-Process Biomass Streams with Petroleum

Press release highlights the important role of a state-of-the-art pilot plant in the co-processing of biomass with petroleum:

  Chevron Phillips Announces Completion of Polyethylene Pilot Plant

Bartlesville, Oklahoma – (July 27th, 2016) Zeton was proud to join Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (Chevron Phillips Chemical), and its President and CEO Peter Cella, during the announcement of the completion of its polyethylene pilot plant at its research facility in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The state-of-the-art 20 skid facility replaces a decades-old pilot plant at the same site. The new unit will enable polyethylene research to take place prior to implementation in full scale operations at their new $6B facility along the Texas Gulf Coast and other locations throughout the world.

Zeton was selected by Chevron Phillips Chemical to complete preliminary engineering for this pilot plant in August 2013. The project continued, with basic engineering commencing in June 2014, and the contract for detailed design, procurement and fabrication was awarded in March 2015. The modules were delivered from Zeton’s Burlington, ON facility to Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Bartlesville site in January 2016.

Zeton is proud of its long term relationship with Chevron Phillips Chemical. Over the past decade, Zeton has supplied several lab scale systems and pilot plants to support Chevron Phillips Chemical’s strategic research and development programs, and hopes to continue to provide service in the future.

  Linde Unveils Syngas Dry Reforming Pilot Plant

Technology company, The Linde Group, officially opened its new Linde Pilot Reformer research facility at Pullach near Munich, Linde's largest location worldwide. The 15 October 2015 grand opening event was attended by customers, partners and employees. In the following news article Linde explains in more detail about their new process, and the goals they have:

Zeton is proud to have been one of Linde's partners in delivering this project, thereby achieving an important milestone in their R&D program.

  ACHEMA 2015 - A Great Success!

A special thank you to all our visitors to Zeton's booth at Achema 2015! We enjoyed the inspiring conversations, and the opportunity to meet you and discuss your needs, together with our design-build services for lab scale systems and pilot plants, and demonstration and modular production plants.

We appreciate your interest in our latest developments and hope to start, or continue, doing business with you in the future!

In case you have any questions, or need more information, please feel free to contact us at for Zeton Netherlands and for Zeton Canada.

  Siluria Technologies Announces Successful Demonstration Plant Start-up

Siluria Technologies, a pioneer in the commercial production of fuels and chemicals made from natural gas, announced the successful start-up of its demonstration plant at a grand opening event in La Porte, Texas on April 1, 2015.

Designed and built by Zeton at its Burlington, ON plant in close cooperation with the Siluria project team, this marks the world's first large-scale production of ethylene directly from natural gas through Oxidative Coupling of Methane ("OCM"). The demonstration plant is the final scale-up of the OCM process technology and paves the way for Siluria to deploy commercial-scale plants in the 2017/2018 timeframe.

"This demo plant was brought in on time, under budget, and safely and successfully started up last December," said Ed Dineen, CEO of Siluria Technologies. "The initial campaigns have already replicated our pilot scale performance."

Zeton is proud of its long term relationship with Siluria, having supplied several pilot plants as a pre-cursor to the subject demonstration plant. According to Zeton Inc.'s project manager for the OCM Demonstration Plant project, Grant Girouard, who attended the grand opening along with Paul Martin and Adam Whalley, "The demonstration plant was the result of close collaboration between Siluria and Zeton, starting with basic engineering, and then proceeding through detailed design, procurement and fabrication. The successful start-up of the plant is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the joint Siluria-Zeton project team, and we are delighted that Siluria has met this important milestone so quickly. We look forward to continuing to work with Siluria Technologies in the future."

  Zeton on Track to Deliver Six Transformer Oil Processing Trains to Hydrodec

As recently reported in a news release by Hydrodec Group PLC, Zeton is on track to deliver six transformer oil processing trains to Canton, Ohio based subsidiary Hydrodec of North America, LLC. According to Zeton's project manager Craig Soulsby, "Hydrodec is taking advantage of Zeton's ability to rapidly replicate the processing plants, with an initial order for two trains being closely followed by an additional four more. As a result, significant savings in engineering cost and overall project schedule will be realized by Hydrodec, with multiple processing trains being designed and built in parallel, all the while maintaining exceptional build quality across all units in Zeton's climate controlled manufacturing shop in Burlington, Ontario."

To view Hydrodec's news release, please click here.

  Zeton is awarded Inventor of the Year Prize for Innovation by Petrobras

Zeton is pleased to announce that Chris Brown, Zeton Inc.'s VP Engineering and a co-founding employee of the company, has been awarded the Petrobras Inventor of the Year prize for 2014 for the invention of a non-mechanical biomass feed valve for the Gasification Pilot Plant project. The awards are given to Petrobras employees and partners whose past inventions led to successful patent applications by Petrobras.

Zeton's representative in Brazil, Roberto Bieler of Farbitec, attend the Aug 20, 2014 award ceremony, and accepted the trophy and certificate on Chris' behalf (see photo). While most of the partners were universities, Zeton was one of the few companies, and the only foreign one.

Zeton would like to thank Mr. Marco Antonio Haikal Leite, Technical Advisor of Petrobras, for nominating Chris and Zeton for this award. We would also like to thank Roberto Bieler for attending the ceremony and accepting the award on Chris' behalf.

  Zeton B.V. awarded the Design-Build contract for Dutch Company Empyro B.V.

In 2014, Empyro B.V. has started construction of its pyrolysis oil production facility in Hengelo, The Netherlands. The main aim of the Empyro project is to design, build and operate a 25 MWth (thermal power) poly-generation pyrolysis demonstration plant to produce electricity, process steam and pyrolysis oil from woody biomass. The produced pyrolysis oil is sold to FrieslandCampina which will use the oil in its production location in nearby Borculo to replace 10 million cubic meters of natural gas annually.

Within the Empyro project, Zeton is responsible for designing and building the pyrolysis plant itself. Specifically, Zeton will provide the detailed design, procurement and fabrication of the core components within the process plant modules.

Empyro is financially supported by the European Commission, the Dutch government and the Province of Overijssel. For the latest information on the project, please visit the following website:


Cooperative Venture Press Release

On August 29, 2013, R.C. Costello & Assoc., Inc. and Zeton Inc. announced the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. COSTELLO has extensive front-end engineering, process modeling and design experience; ZETON has specific know-how in the scale up of process technology, specializing in designing and building modular pilot and demonstration plants. The synergy of these companies holds great potential for mutual projects.

Click here to read the full press release.

  Dutch Minister Mr. Henk Kamp visits Zeton B.V.

On June 10, 2013, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Henk Kamp, visited Zeton B.V. to learn more about the role of pilot and demonstration projects in the Biobased economy. According to the Minister, a company like Zeton is truly exceptional. He was very impressed by the high-tech plants that Zeton designs and builds for its customers, and complimented the staff at Zeton B.V. on the important contribution they are making to the emerging Biobased economy. The management and staff at Zeton B.V. would like to thank Minister Kamp for his visit.

  Zeton wins prestigious international design award from Bentley Systems

At the Be Inspired Awards conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands held over November 13-14, 2012, Zeton was selected as the award winner in the category of Innovation in Process Manufacturing for its Modular GTL Commercial Demonstration Plant project for CompactGTL.

Commenting on the award, Senior Project Manager Troy Wong said, "From an engineering perspective, this was an exciting and challenging project, where the requirements for a compact, modular layout for future commercial scale implementation superimposed fundamental constraints on the design and routing of the hot reformer piping operating at 1500ьз╕ F. The application of Bentley AutoPLANT and AutoPIPE design tools, in combination, was a key factor in the project's success, and we would like to thank Bentley for recognizing the innovative and groundbreaking engineering work that went into completing this project."

David Beckman, President of Zeton Inc. added, "That this project should take top honors in the Be Inspired Awards program is a source of pride for everyone involved in the project, and is a testament to the extraordinary achievements of the project teams at Zeton and CompactGTL. Given the strength of the submissions to this year's competition, we are truly honored to be recognized alongside the other 2012 Be Inspired Awards recipients."

Pictured at left: Zeton's design team with the 2012 Be Inspired Award; Zeton's manufacturing team on the CGTL skid; David Edwards, VP Sales & Marketing, accepting the award on behalf of the project team.

  KTI-Zeton Alliance Delivers Two ACE-Model AP Units to Grace Germany

We are pleased to announce the delivery of two CE compliant ACE-Model AP Units to Grace GmbH & Co. of Worms, Germany. The success of the project relied on the close cooperation of Kayser Technology, Inc. (KTI) of Houston, Texas, Zeton Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, and Zeton B.V. of Enschede, The Netherlands. Henk Naber of Zeton B.V. provided oversight of the project against the latest CE standards and practices while the design was provided by John Kayser of KTI (process), George Hart of Zeton Inc. (electrical), and Sean Murray of Zeton Inc. (control systems). Henk Naber visited Canada for the factory acceptance test where CE plates were affixed to both units.

"The ACE-Model AP products directly benefitted from the CE know-how of Zeton B.V. In addition, our 'easy' teamwork bodes well for future ACE projects destined for the CE marketplace," stated John Kayser, president of KTI.