John J. Simmons receives North Dakota Technology Champion Award

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John J. Simmons receives North Dakota Technology Champion Award

Bismarck, N.D. – John J. Simmons, chairman of Bismarck-based Carbontec Energy Corporation, received the Technology Council of North Dakota’s (TechND) North Dakota Technology Champion award during the 19th annual North Dakota Technology Awards Program on Aug. 14 in Fargo.

Carbontec, which is the developer of clean-energy and environmentally friendly technologies for the energy and other industries, was founded by Simmons in 1988. Simmons has more than a dozen patents in areas such as energy, coal, carbon dioxide reduction, iron nugget production, wood products, chemicals, and oil spill cleanup.

Under Simmons’ leadership, Carbontec has developed technologies for the energy industry that have been commercialized in plant facilities producing more than $1.3 billion in bottom line earnings. Its synthetic coal technology has been used to produce more than 12 million tons of synthetic coal per year. Carbontec is credited with developing the low carbon footprint E-IronTM Process, in cooperation with Michigan Technological University, to use organic biomass in the place of coke or coal, minimizing the negative environmental impact of iron making.

Carbontec recently developed a magnetic oil spill sorbent to clean up oil spills in lakes and rivers such as Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. It is also currently developing the Clearite carbon capture and utilization process to reduce carbon emissions from coal and gas fired power generation plants.

Simmons is also chairman of Thermo Technologies, LLC., a Carbontec-related company that manufactures and markets super absorbent fire-retardant water gelling polymers for the fire suppression and fire protection industry. Thermo-Gel® has reportedly saved thousands of homes and hundreds of thousand acres of forests from wildfires.

Simmons graduated Summa Cum Laude from Michigan Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He is a former director on the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Board of Directors and a former director of the Board of University of Mary Board of Directors. He received the North Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the University of Mary in 2005.

“Simmons’ ability to identify a problem and use technology as a solution has been beneficial to North Dakota, the nation and the world,” says Justin Forde, TechND’s president and senior director of government relations at Midco. “His contributions to North Dakota’s technology and energy industries are outstanding and make him very worthy of this award.”

Founded in 2000 by North Dakota business, government and education leaders, TechND has spent nearly two decades advocating for a positive business climate for technology companies, addressing technology workforce needs, encouraging infrastructure development and providing knowledge sharing opportunities for its membership, which consists of more than 65 North Dakota business, government and education entities.  For more information, visit

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