Clean Energy and ‘Twinning’: Pairing Future Energy Production with CO2 Decline
A conversation with Jon Myers, Founder and CEO, Graphene Technologies; Ray Rothrock, Partner, Venrock; and Craig Wilkins, President, Zinc Air; hosted by Sheeraz Haji, CEO, Cleantech Group
John Myers- Graphene Technologies
Where are we now with “Twinning”?
- Carbon’s been the primary source of everything we value for tens of thousands of years, it runs everything today. We are completely dependent on the heat carbon and oxygen create.
- Essentially today we capture carbon through plant life, capturing it today on land is through plant life
- DOE & Leaders have been working on capturing carbon, but we need to continue to take direct action. The tech for carbon capture is still too expensive.
- Graphene is carbon organized in crystalline form. It’s single sheets of carbon atoms in a crystal matrix. It behaves in interesting ways, and can be a material that can be used for a wide number of applications.
- It can be a useful carbon solution from CO2 Emissions.
Sources and Uses:
- There are a lot of industrial processes that create CO2: #1 Source is power plants #2 is Cars
- We produce far too much CO2 for any one solution to make more than a marginal impact, other great opportunities include: 1) algae (which also produce lipids, which are a precursor for pharmaceutical products and biofuel) 2) methanol (high liquid fuel to use in airplanes) 3) green energy
- taking it from the power plant (1st biggest cause, cars are 2nd)- you are runing a lot of nitrogen and a lil bit of oxygen through process- the problem is the separation of CO2 – you end up with a lot of Nitrogen
- We have tried to frame CO2 as an asset- how can we make money by producing graphene, and what can we do with it?
“This is a disaster in process and we have to accept that.” We can’t quantify how much damage we have done, but we can slow down the impact going for. Can policy accelerate the process? Yes, absolutely. But, we made sure CO2 can be consumed and reemployed in a commercial product w/o gov regulation or support.
Craig Wikins- Zinc Air
On Energy Storage and Efficiency
- You lose 25% of energy you create. We need to focus of the ability to store & utilize energy when it is demanded. We could make better use of our infrastructure.
- Storage is a critical component to reducing the carbon footprint, as well as energy efficiency.
- Goal is to create a clean product to reduce costs by being a safe technology that can be recycled
- Zinc Air batteries use zinc oxide, iron salt, and essentially Draino- the salts will help neutralize the battery, which help it to be recycled more easily
“It is still an economic discussion. We need to look at the long term solution. Your green technology is going to have to show how its economically viable.”