Dynamic, seasoned business leader with strong chemical industry and clean-energy background coupled with extensive private equity and financing experience to lead Transform Materials, a green technology chemistry innovator, as it embarks on commercialization and international expansion.
Transform Materials, a sustainable chemical company that uses microwave plasma technology to convert natural gas into acetylene and hydrogen, has appointed Stuart Jara as chief executive officer. Dr. David Soane, Transform’s founder and current CEO, transitions to chairman of the board, where he will continue to foster the development of the company’s technology and intellectual property portfolio.
Jara brings strong, multi-disciplinary management experience to the CEO role at Transform Materials, including a proven ability to negotiate complex contracts and lead multinational operations. He has broad and deep experience in the industrial process manufacturing sector, including building hydrogen production plants, as well as an extensive background in the hydrogen, acetylene, and natural gas sectors. Jara has led a broad spectrum of organizations in this sector to expand their profitability—from mid-market, private-equity-owned entities to billion-dollar divisions of public companies.
Transform Materials has developed a highly selective, cost-effective process that converts the methane in natural gas into high-value products that are suitable for direct use or downstream reactions without producing carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Founded in 2014, the company accelerated its commercialization strategy in 2020, generating significant interest from customers whose processes require a ready and cost-advantageous source of hydrogen or acetylene, and from customers who must find constructive uses for their supplies of waste methane. Transform has already developed a large project pipeline with prospective blue-chip customers in North America and in Europe.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have Stuart come on board to spearhead our transition from piloting our early successes to developing large-scale plants,” said David Soane Ph.D., chairman of Transform Materials. “He blends two essential requirements that make him a perfect fit for CEO: his extensive experience in the hydrogen, acetylene, and natural gas sectors, and his proven ability to expand commercial operations and achieve a sustainable, profitable growth trajectory.”
Jara spent the first half of his career in large, publicly traded companies, including over a decade with Linde, where he led various international operations, concentrating on the development, commercialization, and execution of large chemical process plant projects around the globe. As part of Linde’s management team, he had profit and loss responsibility for business operations spanning the Americas. During the second half of his career, he focused on leading startups and portfolio companies for private equity investors in the industrial, manufacturing, and specialty chemical sectors. Immediately prior to joining Transform Materials, Jara led a portfolio of 10 companies for a family office private equity firm.
“While there has been long-running industry discussion of the need to manufacture pure hydrogen and acetylene using less energy and with lower associated greenhouse gases, Transform Materials is the first company to achieve this goal. Our scalable, commercially viable process yields clean, pure hydrogen and acetylene using a fraction of the energy of traditional approaches, and without producing carbon dioxide,” said Stuart Jara, CEO of Transform Materials. “Under David Soane’s leadership over the past six years, Transform has assembled a stellar team of scientists, and what they have accomplished is truly amazing. I am looking forward to leading Transform Materials in its next phase of accelerated growth and sustained commercial success.”
About Transform Materials
Transform Materials LLC was founded in 2014 by scientist and serial entrepreneur David Soane, Ph.D. During six years of sustained R&D, the company has developed a ground-breaking technology that uses microwave-generated plasma to energize the methane in natural gas to form acetylene and hydrogen, while avoiding the legacy processes in the chemical industry that generate impurities and form greenhouse gases. Complementing its contributions to chemical manufacturing, Transform’s technology also produces hydrogen in an energy-efficient way, addressing an important need in the burgeoning fuel cell industry. Transform’s systems are compact and modular, thus readily scalable to match customer needs, whether for large plants or small industrial applications, integrating with existing systems and architecture to minimize adoption costs. Transform’s patented technology platform initiates a green revolution in the utilization of natural gas, converting this abundant resource into acetylene and hydrogen without requiring combustion or energy-intensive electrolysis. To learn more, visit transformmaterials.com.
Amberjack Capital is a specialized private equity firm that invests in and partners with entrepreneurs and business owners to build market leaders serving the industrial, infrastructure, and environmental end markets. Headquartered in Houston, the firm has raised $1.5 billion of committed capital since its inception in 2006 and has invested in over 50 companies.