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JOIN OUR EFFORTS TO

close the carbon cycle

BY LAUNCHING SCIENCE COMPANIES.

JOIN OUR EFFORTS TO

close the carbon cycle

BY LAUNCHING SCIENCE COMPANIES.
Gael Gobaille-Shaw, Founding Analyst for Carbon Neutral Fuels at DSV making a case to the O&G industry in Aberdeen.

 

Nature has utilised CO2 since the evolution of photosynthesis, and yet all we seem to be able to do is produce it. Just imagine a world where CO2 is not a waste but a resource…
But the question remains, what should we make if we could transform CO2 or other “wastes”? Pursue synthesising petrochemicals? Or are there alternative compounds with superior properties? The area of carbon neutral fuels is like a battleground of different molecules vying for supremacy. Many arguments for the strengths of a particular fuel seem to be relatively narrow, giving too much focus on a single metric e.g. energy density, and do not offer a systematic analysis of the product space from a market-based, transformational and technological perspective.

 

 

APPROACHES WE’RE CONSIDERING

 

Carbon dioxide utilisation
There is little argument these days that in order to replace fossil fuel derived products we will need an equivalently large supply of a renewable source of carbon. CO2 represents the largest pool resource that we can imagine. Yes, we will be utilising biological waste, and some of our fuels will be substituted by hydrogen and batteries. But even taking these new burgeoning technologies into account there is a large gap that will need fulfilled to supply society with its chemical and material needs. To a large extent we have already developed many of the reactions which can replace fossilised carbon, the real constraint here is not necessarily the chemistry of carbon dioxide. It’s the cost of renewable hydrogen.
So let’s lower the cost of electrolysis
The field of water electrolysis has been stuck trying to optimise the same device architecture for decades. PEM, Alkaliae or solid oxide electrolysers each have their advantages, and each suffer from different caveats. However, the only thing that anyone really cares about when it comes to electrolysis, is low cost hydrogen and low-cost devices. Given that thermal energy is cheap, easily storable and abundant while electrons are expensive, it makes sense to maximise the use of thermal energy in electrolysers and minimise electrical input. We’ve identified an electrolyser architecture which is simpler than PEM or SOEC. It uses off-the shelf parts, doesn’t require a membrane, and runs at temperatures that can be obtained from heavy industry such as steel works, glass and cement.
Skills we’re after (a mix of):
Engineers with experience in electrolysers, process design, modelling. Scientists with a background in business development and strategy. Chemists with a background in catalyst design and characterisation.

 

 

Accelerating catalyst design
A major bottleneck in all chemical transformations is the development of stable and efficient catalysts. The pathway to the successful development of catalysts is a long process involving large amounts of manual labour to synthesise, characterise and test them under reaction conditions. There does yet appear to be a consolidated and holistic strategy being implemented to address this. Instead we have a fragmented approach of lots of entities. Some companies specialise in bulk production of catalysts and ex-situ characterisation while some companies focus on reactor optimisation and others specialise in computational modelling (either at the catalyst level or reactor level). Universities are similarly fragmented, each trying to solve individual pieces of the puzzle without necessarily appreciating how the entire problem is put together. What if we were able to bring together automation of production and characterisation, DFT simulations with machine learning algorithms and operando measurements under a single roof?
Skills we’re after (a mix of):
Fuel cell engineering, catalyst engineering, someone with experience with modelling, automation, operando measurements, catalyst synthesis, testing, formulation, machine learning, material design, nanomaterials, and ideally, electrolysers, electrode microstructures, chemistry.
OUR OFFER
Your role will start as a Founder within DSV under our unique framework for venture creation and transition to becoming part of the founding team of one of the companies which will emerge from it. We already have a number of exciting projects being developed in this space and expect to make first investments into newly formed startups by June alongside our industry partners.
At DSV, we have partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies in the industry to support teams working on transition to clean fuels. There’s up to £500k of investment from DSV alone, and at least £100k in grant funding, plus the further opportunity to carry out 6 figure industrial proof of concept work. In addition to the investment, we also provide a monthly stipend to all our Entrepreneurs in Residence to support their time transitioning into the new venture.
No prior idea or IP required.
Gael Gobaille-Shaw, Founding Analyst for Carbon Neutral Fuels at DSV making a case to the O&G industry in Aberdeen.

 

Nature has utilised CO2 since the evolution of photosynthesis, and yet all we seem to be able to do is produce it. Just imagine a world where CO2 is not a waste but a resource…
But the question remains, what should we make if we could transform CO2 or other “wastes”? Pursue synthesising petrochemicals? Or are there alternative compounds with superior properties? The area of carbon neutral fuels is like a battleground of different molecules vying for supremacy. Many arguments for the strengths of a particular fuel seem to be relatively narrow, giving too much focus on a single metric e.g. energy density, and do not offer a systematic analysis of the product space from a market-based, transformational and technological perspective.

 

 

APPROACHES WE’RE CONSIDERING

 

Carbon dioxide utilisation
There is little argument these days that in order to replace fossil fuel derived products we will need an equivalently large supply of a renewable source of carbon. CO2 represents the largest pool resource that we can imagine. Yes, we will be utilising biological waste, and some of our fuels will be substituted by hydrogen and batteries. But even taking these new burgeoning technologies into account there is a large gap that will need fulfilled to supply society with its chemical and material needs. To a large extent we have already developed many of the reactions which can replace fossilised carbon, the real constraint here is not necessarily the chemistry of carbon dioxide. It’s the cost of renewable hydrogen.
So let’s lower the cost of electrolysis
The field of water electrolysis has been stuck trying to optimise the same device architecture for decades. PEM, Alkaliae or solid oxide electrolysers each have their advantages, and each suffer from different caveats. However, the only thing that anyone really cares about when it comes to electrolysis, is low cost hydrogen and low-cost devices. Given that thermal energy is cheap, easily storable and abundant while electrons are expensive, it makes sense to maximise the use of thermal energy in electrolysers and minimise electrical input. We’ve identified an electrolyser architecture which is simpler than PEM or SOEC. It uses off-the shelf parts, doesn’t require a membrane, and runs at temperatures that can be obtained from heavy industry such as steel works, glass and cement.
Skills we’re after (a mix of):
Engineers with experience in electrolysers, process design, modelling. Scientists with a background in business development and strategy. Chemists with a background in catalyst design and characterisation.

 

 

Accelerating catalyst design
A major bottleneck in all chemical transformations is the development of stable and efficient catalysts. The pathway to the successful development of catalysts is a long process involving large amounts of manual labour to synthesise, characterise and test them under reaction conditions. There does yet appear to be a consolidated and holistic strategy being implemented to address this. Instead we have a fragmented approach of lots of entities. Some companies specialise in bulk production of catalysts and ex-situ characterisation while some companies focus on reactor optimisation and others specialise in computational modelling (either at the catalyst level or reactor level). Universities are similarly fragmented, each trying to solve individual pieces of the puzzle without necessarily appreciating how the entire problem is put together. What if we were able to bring together automation of production and characterisation, DFT simulations with machine learning algorithms and operando measurements under a single roof?
Skills we’re after (a mix of):
Fuel cell engineering, catalyst engineering, someone with experience with modelling, automation, operando measurements, catalyst synthesis, testing, formulation, machine learning, material design, nanomaterials, and ideally, electrolysers, electrode microstructures, chemistry.
our offer
Your role will start as a Founder within DSV under our unique framework for venture creation and transition to becoming part of the founding team of one of the companies which will emerge from it. We already have a number of exciting projects being developed in this space and expect to make first investments into newly formed startups by June alongside our industry partners.
At DSV, we have partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies in the industry to support teams working on transition to clean fuels. There’s up to £500k of investment from DSV alone, and at least £100k in grant funding, plus the further opportunity to carry out 6 figure industrial proof of concept work. In addition to the investment, we also provide a monthly stipend to all our Entrepreneurs in Residence to support their time transitioning into the new venture.
No prior idea or IP required.

Interviews ongoing

Interviews ongoing

About Gael

Gael Gobaille-Shaw (PhD Chemistry) leads opportunity analysis in carbon neutral fuels at DSV and has spent the past few months mapping out key constraints holding back innovation (across tech, market and funding realms). Together with Gael, we’ve identified key areas of expertise that need to be brought together before spinning out ventures in this space.

To learn more about Gael’s work, you can email him here.

About Gael

Gael Gobaille-Shaw (PhD Chemistry) leads opportunity analysis in carbon neutral fuels at DSV and has spent the past few months mapping out key constraints holding back innovation (across tech, market and funding realms). Together with Gael, we’ve identified key areas of expertise that need to be brought together before spinning out ventures in this space.

To learn more about Gael’s work, you can email him here.