Compact Membrane to spend $3.1 million to expand

Katie KazimirBusiness, Headlines


Company Membrane Systems, which wants to help clear up air pollution with its products, will expand in New Castle. Photo by Pixabay/Pexels.

New Castle’s Compact Membrane Systems will spend $3.1 million to expand to meet market demand and triple its workforce, with state grants paying about one-third of that.

Founded by a former DuPont scientist in Wilmington 30 years ago, CMS creates technology to capture and reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

It will get $875,480 from the state to help fund its growth.

A Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $760,480 will go toward 15,080 square feet of lab space, and a $115,000 Jobs Performance Grant will help add 38 new full-time jobs by 2026.


Erica Nemser

“It’s vitally important we keep legacy companies like CMS in our communities growing and thriving,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “We have the talent right here in our state, and this expansion presents opportunities for our workforce to stay right here at home.”

The grants were approved by the state Council on Development Finance and are dependent on the company meeting certain outlined commitments.

CMS recently moved most of its operations on Water Street, Newport, to a temporary site near the new facility that will be constructed on Reads Way. 

The expansion includes building 10,864 square feet of research and development and manufacturing-focused lab spaces along with more than 4,216 square feet of additional space.

The lab will meet the growing need for membrane fiber for the carbon capture and sequestration market, a press release said.

The company has gotten a lot of attention for being a women-led company in energy technology and in the membrane industry.

Compact Membrane history

Founded in 1993 by Stuart Nemser, CMS is now run by his daughter, Erica. She also chairs the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance Board.

Its goal is to find technology solutions that capture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avert global warming and transform the industry into a long-term sustainable enterprise.

CMS has been shifting away from being a small, research-based company reliant on federal grants to take its place as a growing commercial entitythat tries to marry commercial success with social responsibility while by delivering innovative new products.

As the company has evolved, it raised $16.5 million in a Series A venture capital round in 2023.

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In considering where best to grow, it looked at Houston, Texas, and areas further Wes before deciding to stay in Delaware and  continue to expand its engineering, manufacturing and sales footprint.

“CMS has grown up as a Delaware company and, through this state support, is excited to cement our future in Delaware,” said Erica Nemser, CEO. 

“We love the resources and opportunity Delaware has to offer, from excellent scientific and technical talent to the commitment to manufacturing advanced technology to address climate emissions.”

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