£250K Government grant for Lontra prototype

Mar 16, 2015 | 2015, In the Press



Midlands firm Lontra has secured a £250,000 grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, through its Smart programme, to develop a prototype of its revolutionary Blade Compressor® for application within general industry.


The ‘BladeAir’ project signals Lontra’s first move into the industrial compressor market worth well over £2billion per annum. It follows the Napton-based company’s success in the £600million per annum municipal and regulated wastewater industry, where the technology was licensed to global engineering business Sulzer in a multi-million pound deal last year.


Almost all (c. 90%) manufacturing industries use compressed air in some aspect of their operations; it is often referred to as the fourth utility after gas, water and electricity. It is used for everything from powering the tools in factories to powering the spray guns which paint our furniture and cars. Yet current industrial air systems are based on designs dating back to 1935 that are expensive to manufacture and maintain, and are energy inefficient.


Steve Lindsey, founder and CEO of Lontra and designer of the Blade Compressor®, says:

“Industrial air is a large market. Compressors are one of the most energy-intensive tools. But the fact is today they are inefficient; either the air leaks or is not compressed properly. I believe we can take a big bite out of the industrial compressor market thanks to our efficient, oil-free design.”


Lontra’s proven and patent-protected Blade Compressor® is the first clean sheet compressor design in 80 years. A circular mechanism replaces the old ‘up and down’ piston technology, compressing air – or gas – in front and inducing the air behind in continuous motion, minimising waste. For applications such as food processing, its oil-free design removes the risk of product contamination.


Clive Patten of Sulzer Pumps, says:

“Incorporating Lontra’s technology into our compressor product portfolio will provide our customers with another high-tech solution allowing them to significantly reduce their energy and operational costs for this type of equipment. The advantage of the Blade Compressor® is that it is the geometry of the design rather than advanced materials that delivers the superior performance. We therefore expect maximum reliability, which combined with the efficiency will deliver best in class life cycle costs.”


To assist in securing licensees and customers, Lontra today announces the appointment of Rick Stasyshan as Head of Business Development in North America. The Rutgers University graduate spent 24 years with Sullair Corporation as Vice President and General Manager. He is a technical consultant to the Compressed Air and Gas Institute, an industry focused trade association supporting the compressor industry whose members include all major global compressor companies.


Lindsey added:

“Rick’s appointment reflects our ambition at Lontra to build on our success and expand into new applications and markets. With the total global compressor market worth more than £20billion per annum and growing, the market opportunity is huge.”


Compressors represent 10% of industrial electricity usage in Europe and as much as 40% in some plants. That equates to more than 10TWh of electricity every year and 4.3 million tonnes of CO2.

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