Immediately after graduating from college, Michael Doty and Todd Denton purchased Quality Stone Company, a rock quarry business located outside of Florence, Texas. As young entrepreneurs, the co-owners were also interested in figuring out how they could minimize the negative impacts of their industry on the environment. They had an innovative idea to repurpose rock dust, a waste product generated by quarries. Not only would the solution minimize the negative impacts on the environment, but it would also provide a revenue source from what would otherwise be a waste product.
Michael and Todd were referred to the Texas State University (TSU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist in researching the cost and feasibility of re-purposing the rock waste. Business Advisor Bill Thompson introduced them to Dr. Gary Beall of the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSE)C program at Texas State University. Dr. Beall’s team confirmed that their rock dust is 100% calcium and has a commercialized market value. One of the many commercial uses for the calcium is as a bonding element in the manufacturing of steel and other manufacturing processes. Currently, the team is working to discover if the company’s calcium carbonate rock dust can be used in Feldspar, which is a bonding agent in the manufacturing of brick.
Bill also introduced the owners to Dr. Dennis Smart, professor of the MBA program at TSU. Dr. Smart’s graduate students assisted the owners with estimating the value of their calcium dust and the cost of the machinery and equipment required to execute on this strategy. This research is assisting the company as they continue to explore this promising revenue stream.
“Our experience with the SBDC has developed into a professional relationship that offers a broad footprint of contacts and expertise.”
– Todd M. Denton, Managing Partner