Clean Energy Innovation Business Leaders Push Congress to Boost Cleantech RD&D
- May 20, 2021 10:53 pm GMT
This spring, 42 clean energy business leaders within the Clean Energy Business Network participated in a flurry of advocacy meetings on clean energy research, development, and deployment. These founders and executives represent clean energy firms that collectively employ over 285 workers and have previously received Department of Energy funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The group pushed Congress to boost funding for clean energy RD&D programs across the Department of Energy in Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations. CEBN hosted a total of 41 virtual meetings with Members of Congress or their staff. (View a complete list of participating companies.)
Recent bipartisan support for clean energy innovation has led to increased funding for crucial programs across DOE, but reports from Columbia University and Breakthrough Energy highlight the need to push the federal clean energy RD&D budget even further. These investments will ensure that the next-generation of clean energy technologies and services is developed in America and built by American workers.
A diverse coalition of over 100 organizations sent a recent letter to Congress that called on policymakers to fund “a multi-billion dollar increase for vital research, development, demonstration, and commercial deployment activities across all Science and Energy program areas” at DOE. The letter notes these investments pay off in the short and long-term and have supported 118,000 workers across all 50 states. CEBN’s group of advocates represented 20 states, from urban areas in California and New York to rural communities in Idaho and Wyoming.
Summary of Department of Energy Funding Levels
The Energy Act of 2020, which passed in December of last year, authorized $35.2 billion in additional funding for these programs from FY 2021 to 2025. Appropriators should ensure that these funds are appropriated to the fullest extent of this bill.
Meetings with Congressional leaders also served to communicate the group’s priority to place clean energy as a central pillar in an infrastructure package. Investments in the grid, transmission, electric vehicle infrastructure, and other cleantech initiatives serve to enhance the resilience of the U.S. energy system, generate jobs, and reduce emissions. The CEBN previously circulated a letter with over 200 clean energy business leaders calling on Congress to support clean energy in an infrastructure package.
In addition, CEBN staff presented two proposals to improve outcomes for small businesses engaging with the Federal Government. This includes improvements to the SBIR program through no-cost or low-cost changes as Congress considers reauthorization of the Small Business Act this year. A recent report from Third Way highlights many of these proposals, and the CEBN circulated a letter last year with 75 businesses backing these changes. CEBN is calling for new signatures to an updated letter this year.
Congressional Offices also heard briefings on potential tweaks to the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to enhance access to financing for small and medium sized businesses. The LPO has historically distributed loans of at least $50 million to support innovative clean energy deployment and manufacturing. This proposal seeks to set aside a small fraction of funding for smaller loans that would finance first-of-a-kind demonstration projects from small to mid-sized businesses that the private sector may be unwilling to finance alone.
The CEBN encourages interested clean energy business leaders to leverage our virtual tools to weigh in on these critical issues. Support these initiatives through sign on letters with a few clicks:
The CEBN and the business leaders across our network look forward to continuing to engage on these issues in the 117th Congress and beyond.
Active Energy Systems – Dr. Mitchell Ishmael, CTO
Knoxville, TN | 3 Employees: Based in Knoxville, Active Energy Systems has developed technology that stops freezing water from sticking to cold surfaces, which unlocks the potential of ice thermal storage. The firm has leveraged an SBIR Phase I award program to develop an innovative ice thermal storage system to provide cooling that is affordable, efficient and resilient. Active Energy’s Icephobic Heat Exchange (IHEX) directly utilizes refrigerant to improve energy efficiency by 20%. This system creates a pathway to use renewable energy to make ice, so that when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, ice can be used to cool buildings instead of running power-hungry compressors. And if power goes out, this resilient thermal storage system, with minimal assistance from backup power, will continue delivering cooling. This technology addresses affordability and efficiency, the two weaknesses of existing ice storage that prevent its widespread adoption.
Advanced Ceramic Fibers – Shawn Perkins, President
Idaho Falls, ID | Advanced Ceramic Fibers (ACF) LLC was founded in 2012 and produces the unique high-performing, low-cost carbon-based fiber, “Fir-BarTM.” The fiber can be added to metal materials to enhance the material which now has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, more heat resistance, and is less vulnerable to fatigue, stress, corrosion, impact and even radiation environments. The Fir-BarTM fiber is used in infrastructure, transportation, energy, aerospace, defense, and industrial markets. ACF has received Phase I and Phase II SBIR funding from the Department of Defense and Department of Energy since 2014.
AquaNRG Consulting – Dr. Babak Shafei, Founder
Houston, TX | AquaNRG is an environmental and energy tech company that is pioneering Data Chemistry Physics, a new scientific methodology which uses data-driven methods such as deep learning and machine learning to complement and enhance theoretical modeling based on reactive transport modeling (RTM) principles. AquaNRG offers a SaaS-based model for chemistry-physics informed AI simulation platform and high-performance cloud computing with pay-as-you-go subscription pricing. This technology has applications for the oil and gas sector in prediction and optimization of energy production. AquaNRG has been awarded 3 SBIR grants from the US Department of Energy and National Science Foundation totaling up to $1.4M in funding.
E3Tec Service – Dr. C.B. Panchal, Founder & President
Hoffman Estates, IL | Founded in 2007, E3Tec provides consulting services to the process industry for mitigation of petroleum fouling, energy efficiency technologies and removing technical and economic barriers of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). Furthermore, the team has developed an array of diverse technologies including the Heat Integrated Reactive Distillation (HIRD) processes which improves industrial energy efficiency. E3Tec has received Phase I and Phase II funding from the Department of Energy SBIR in 2015 and 2019.
ecoLong – Nancy Min, Founder
Slingerland, NY | 3 Employees: ecoLong develops solutions that use blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and IoTs to enable peer-to-peer transactive energy. This technology will fundamentally reduce the levelized cost of solar power and improve the economics of distributed energy generation for prosumers, consumers, and utilities. This solution empowers prosumers through personalized energy management optimization and trading. ecoLong’s technology facilitates integration of DER into the grid to enhance grid benefits of improved system reliability and flexibility through demand response/grid ancillary services. The technology also enables more efficient utilization of existing grid infrastructure and reduced GHG emissions. ecoLong has received Phase I and Phase II funding from the Department of Energy SBIR.
e-volv – Mark Spieker, COO
Littleton, CO | 12 Employees: e-volv creates magnets and cables using high temperature superconductors. e-volv is innovating automated winding technology to robotically manufacture superconducting core components that remove energy loss and increase energy density up to 10x in commercial products spanning many industries. Anticipated end products are based on liquid nitrogen cryogenics and include motors and cables for electric aircraft, generators for electric aircraft and wind turbines, MRIs that do not require helium, and no loss cables for alternating current (AC) electricity transmission. e-volv is supported by multi-physics R&D company Infinity Physics. Infinity Physics has produced demonstrator magnets and cables through SBIR Phase I funding received from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
E-Wave Technologies – Adam Bennett, CTO
Poughkeepsie, NY | 3 Employees: E-Wave Technologies was formed in 2019. The company develops innovative and reliable wave energy harvesting products. This wave energy harvester will provide power for the electric utilities, ocean observation systems, and autonomous underwater vehicles. The wave energy harvester also provides coastal communities prone to coastal disasters with distributed power generators close to load, emergency power supply for disaster recovery, and shoreline erosion protection. E-Wave Technologies has secured a DOE STTR Award to co-develop an innovative solution of wave energy converter to power ocean aquaculture. This 35-40 kW flap-type WEC system is hinged to a fish feed buoy, to power the feeding and monitoring systems of co-grantee Innovasea’s open-ocean fish farm, with reduced cost, increased automation, and minimized environmental impacts. The cost of power generation on a feed vessel via engines and marine power plants will be significantly reduced by the proposed system.
FGC Plasma Solutions – Felipe Gomez del Campo, CEO
Cambridge, MA | 9 Employees: FGC has developed plasma-based solutions to help any fuel burn cleaner, from aircraft fuel to maritime shipping to military aviation. The technology involves fuel injection that leverages benefits of plasma to provide greater stability to combustion inside an engine. Conventional engines sacrifice performance and greater emissions in order to achieve combustion stability, but FGC Plasma reduces this tradeoff. This development has its roots in company founder Felipe Gomez del Campo’s high school science project. FGC has received several SBIR awards and has worked with MIT and Notre Dame. The company is also a graduate of Argonne National Laboratory’s Chain Reaction Innovation program and has raised $6M in funding.
Flash Steelworks – Gary Cola, President
Washington, MI | 3 Full-time, 2 Part-time Employees: Flash Bainite is the innovator of technology to make steel lighter and stronger, with dramatic potential benefits for fuel efficiency (i.e., vehicle lightness), military applications, and a range of other beneficial uses. The company is based in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and has worked with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to help develop the technology, with support from (5) DOE SBIR I, II, and III awards. The firm is now at the commercial stage, and currently in discussions about building its first processing facility in Kentucky, making use of the infrastructure and railroads that have historically supported the coal industry. In 2017, the company was recognized as DOE’s SBIR Small Business of the Year. In the past year, Flash Steelworks has worked with the Department of Defense bringing its technology to the military. The firm has also secured Phase II, Phase IIB, Phase 3, and Marine Corps Phase I Awards. Flash Steelworks has also secured $5M in federal funding for a manufacturing facility in Michigan and $10M in federal funding for a facility in KY.
GeneSiC Semiconductor – Dr. Ranbir Singh, Founder & President
Sterling, VA | 19 Employees: GeneSiC has emerged as a major supplier of Silicon Carbide based power semiconductor devices to the global market. The firm’s technology has saved millions of kWh of energy through its energy efficient devices in vehicles, energy storage and industrial systems. GeneSiC’s first prime contract/grant was through a Department of Energy SBIR Phase I Award.
Innoveyda – Indu Saxena, Principal Scientist
Lake Forest, CA | Innoveyda is a research and development company providing flaw diagnosis and usability testing. The company develops opto-electronic hardware and decision systems. Innoveyda has assisted its clients through critical decisions in the fields of aircraft composite materials, calibration standards for material characterization and modular systems for data extraction. Innoveyda has received SBIR grants since 2007 including a recent 2020 Phase II grant from the Department of Energy. They are currently working on an accident-prevention decision system based on optical measurement hardware, with applications in energy security that reduces its carbon footprint.
Integrated Lipid Biofuels – Dr. Xiaochao Xiong, CTO
Pullman, WA | Integrated Lipid Biofuels LLC (ILB) is a Washington State University spin-off company founded to research, develop and commercialize industrial biotechnologies. The mission of the company is to enable cost-effective production of bio-based products through innovation in processing technologies and efficient utilization of biomass resources. The general products of interest include specialty high-value bioproducts, renewable chemicals, and biofuels. ILB is constructing novel metabolic pathways in a highly capable yeast with industrially-relevant production advantages to convert low-cost feedstock such as wastes to biopolymers. ILB has received a Phase I STTR grant from the Department of Energy.
Exergi Predictive – Will Northrop, CEO and Shawn Haag, Chief Business Officer
Saint Paul, MN | 3 Employees: Exergi Predictive is an API solution company that offers API products for electric vehicles and leverages the power of the cloud and edge computing. Customers and end-users include automotive OEMs, fleets, and telematics service providers. Exergi Predictive received its first SBIR Phase I Award in 2020 from the Department of Energy to develop a connected energy management system (c-EMS) for application in the electrified last-mile delivery truck market. This project builds on the company’s current product offering for range-extended hybrid delivery trucks. This funding will enable Exergi Predictive to accurately predict the range of last-mile delivery EVs for a given route and to reduce the need for expensive on-route charging.
Highland West Energy – Nolan Hill, CEO
Idaho Falls, ID| 2 Employees: Highland West Energy creates custom solutions to provide utility savings, adding reliability, and increased efficiency for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. Highland West Energy has a diverse product line to provide reliable heat and energy not only in Idaho but projects that span across the Western United States. With almost a decade in the clean energy alternative space Highland West is a leader in innovative HVAC/ mechanical energy production systems.
Inventev – Dave Stenson, Founder & CEO
Detroit, MI | 3 Employees: Inventev started with a core driveline (EV) and power generating technology for plug-in hybrid commercial work trucks. The technology is now trademarked as ZEV+E to reflect “Zero Emission Vehicle + Emergency duty” allowing daily EV use but also local grid power generation/resiliency after disaster events such as hurricanes, ice storms, wildfires. ARPA-E awarded Inventev an IDEAS grant to advance the technology toward commercialization including simulation modeling and as far into hardware as the funds would enable. Inventev was highlighted in 2016 through a 1-hour presentation in Detroit to then Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz. They now have two issued U.S. patents and pursuing follow-on funding for further technology demonstration and commercialization. Dave Stenson continues as a volunteer DOE grant annual merit reviewer in DC through the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office. Inventev has also expanded a core consulting activity to include over 25 members of an extended expert network.
Maalka – Rimas Gulbinas and Sam Cialek, Co-Founders
Brooklyn, NY | 9 Employees: Maalka provides a software platform for municipalities, organizations, and utilities to administer large scale energy efficiency and sustainability programs for commercial building portfolios. Maalka significantly reduces program administration costs by integrating and automating labor-intensive processes related to portfolio-wide data collection, normalization, and validation, as well as analysis, goal setting, and reporting. Maalka has received many SBIR grants including its most recent grant from the Department of Energy to develop technology for automating portfolio-scale energy modeling and simulation.
Manta Biofuel – Andrew Wills, Director of Finance
Owings Mills, MD | 6 Employees: In 2014, Manta Biofuel was founded to create a commercially viable process to create renewable crude oil from algae. Its key innovation is the algae harvesting system that uses magnetic beads to pull algae out of the water which allows it to concentrate algae in preparation for conversion of the biomass to renewable oil. The concentrated algae is exposed to high temperature and pressure known as hydrothermal liquefaction. 2.75 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions could be avoided annually in the United States by using crude oil made from algae. Manta Biofuel has received DOE Phase I, II, and IIB phasing for harvesting algae.
Mohawk Innovative Technology – James Walton, Co-Founder & VP Product Dev.
Albany, NY | Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. (MiTi) is an advanced product development company with specific expertise in high-speed rotating machinery and advanced oil-free bearings and seals. Current company emphasis is on integrating MiTi’s advanced oil-free bearing technologies into high speed rotating machinery where conventional oil lubricated bearings are unsuitable. The firm has leveraged 3D printing in the development of a compressor housing for supercritical CO2 concentrated solar power plants. This technology, funded through an SBIR award, enabled production in 3.5 days rather than 20 weeks and for a fifth of the cost. The housing, which stores supercritical CO2, stores heat in a concentrated solar plant for later use. MiTi has also received a DOE SBIR award to advance hydrogen compression technology.
NanoGraf Corporation – Kurt Breitenkamp, VP Bus. Development
Chicago, IL | 23 Employees: NanoGraf Corporation (formerly known as SiNode Systems) is an advanced battery materials company from Chicago, Illinois. The firm is developing new materials to enable high energy and high-power batteries for a variety of industries including electric vehicles and renewable energy storage solutions. NanoGraf Corporation received its initial company funding from the DOE SBIR Phase 1 in 2012 and successfully transitioned to a DOE SBIR Phase II grant in 2014. After completion of the DOE SBIR Phase II, NanoGraf has remained engaged with the DOE through grant contracts with the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, whose members include the Department of Energy, Ford, Chrysler, and GM.
Natel Energy – Gia Schneider, Co-founder & CEO
Alameda, CA | 55 Employees: Natel Energy is a water and energy innovation company changing the way hydropower projects are built and operated to enable sustainable, climate-resilient, reliable, renewable energy. Climate change is water change and hydropower sits at the nexus of energy and water in a unique way. By designing with both energy and water in mind, we believe that hydropower projects can increase reliable renewable generation and deliver positive benefits for river ecosystems and water users. Our innovations enable projects that generate multiple environmental co-benefits including habitat creation, improved water quality, and sustained increases in groundwater recharge rates – helping to mitigate the impacts of droughts and floods, while producing reliable renewable energy. We have developed two innovations – a fish safe turbine and a software solution that combines satellite imagery and the power of machine learning to provide more accurate forecasts of water flow and quality anywhere on Earth. We have received SBIR Phase I and Phase II funding from the Department of Energy; as well as several grants from the Waterpower Technologies Program Office within the DOE.
Molecule Works Incorporated – Mitch Odinak, Chief Commercial Officer
Richland, WA | 8 Employees: Molecule Works is the innovator of ultra-thin, porous metal membranes used for molecular separations and electro-chemical reactions. Applications being commercialized include high efficiency CO2 capture from air and flue gas, refrigerant free air conditioning, low-cost energy efficient ethanol dewatering, and low-cost algae harvesting. The company was originally founded based on technology licensed from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and has since received $2.5M+ in DOE (ARPA-E, EERE, SBIR) awards to support further R&D.
Pajarito Powder – Webb Johnson, Sr. Dir. Business Development
Albuquerque, NM | 10 Employees: Pajarito Powder enables the next generation of electric propulsion for heavy duty applications, cars, buses, trucks, trains, and ships – with advanced electrochemical catalyst materials for hydrogen fuel cells developed and manufactured in the United States and exported internationally. The company’s customers include almost every major automaker in the world with a fuel cell program; these partners understand scaling and how to drive down costs, enabling other broader applications of fuel cells.
Petrolern – Hamed Soroush, CEO
Atlanta, GA | 5 Employees/15 Consultants: Petrolern is an award–winning technology company, established in 2014, working on subsurface solutions for carbon storage, geothermal and oil and gas projects. Petrolern’s mission is to apply the knowledge and learnings from the oil and gas industry to accelerate movement toward cleaner energy sources. We provide innovative solutions for transparent and optimized subsurface operations to make energy extraction as clean, safe, and low-cost as possible. Our clean energy initiative begins with making the oil and gas industry greener by providing energy transition solutions such as carbon sequestration and converting late-stage oil and gas wells to cleaner geothermal sources. We are actively involved in exploration and production of geothermal energy from both low temperature sedimentary formations and hot dry igneous rocks. Subsurface storage of energy is another area that we are working in along with our recognized partners
Polymaterials App – Dr. Manoj Ram, CEO & President, Dr. Brandon Lorentz, R&D Lead Scientist and CTO, and Mr. Shyne Gagno, CFO
Tampa, FL | Polymaterials App produces technological advancements in a variety of sectors including the Poly3-Scap, a battery that, unlike traditional batteries which store chemical energy, stores energy in the electric field. The Poly3-Scap has a high energy density, power output and uniquely uses a normal sponge or cloth to create the electrode creating highlight capacitive electrodes. Polymaterials App has received SBIR Phase I funding from the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the Air Force.
Qubitekk – Corey McClelland, Vice President
Bakersfield, CA | Qubitekk is a pioneer in the development of optical components and systems for Quantum Information Science. Qubitekk seeks to enable emerging tech industries through quantum solutions such as quantum Internet, a cyber-secure electrical grid, and a network for interconnecting quantum computing devices. Qubitekk is working with fiber optic asset owners to design and construct the quantum networks of tomorrow and enable the transmission of quantum bits (qubits). The firm has received funding from the Department of Energy to develop unhackable quantum encryption technology to protect the U.S. electric grid from cyber attacks.
RenewCO₂ – Anders Laursen, CEO
Cranford, NJ | RenewCO₂ uses cutting edge research to develop the future solution for carbon emissions. RenewCO₂’s process is based on an environmentally clean electrochemical processes that convert CO₂, water, and electricity into chemicals used in the plastics industry as well as other organic chemicals. This process replicates nature’s process that normally takes millions of years in a fraction of a second. The resulting plastic products have a negative carbon footprint, actually consuming CO₂ emissions to make plastics needed for our current way of life. The patented catalyst technology that RenewCO₂ has produced can produces range of products used in applications from antifreeze fluid to PET or polyester textiles. RenewCO₂ has received a STTR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation and SBIR Phase I grant from the Department of Energy in 2020 and a Phase II SBIR from DOEin 2021.
Rotating Sleeve Engine Technologies – Dr. Dimitrios Dardalis, CTO
Austin, TX | 3 Employees: RSET Inc. is developing the rotation liner engine (RLE), a unique lubrication concept for traditional internal combustion engines. The RLE incorporates a rotation liner between the piston and the engine block, exploiting the well proven piston and piston ring lubrication advantage of the historic sleeve valve engine and applying it to the modern exhaust-emission-driven reciprocating engine. The RLE improves efficiency, decreases pollutants, increases durability, and has applications for the $50B+ heavy-duty diesel market. The Department of Energy has supported this research through an SBIR Phase I Award to increase fuel efficiency in heavy duty vehicles by 3.5-4% at full load, about 25% at idle, and roughly 10% for an average duty cycle. Prototype has been built and tested, and benefits confirmed.
Savengy Technologies – Wei Wu, Project Manager
Orlando, FL | 3 Employees: Savengy Technologies develops and delivers innovative solutions for the thermal desalination/distillation technology sector. Savengy Technologies has developed a Multi-Effect Distillation (MED) system that can recover potable water from treated wastewater, brackish water and sea water. The system is 1/20th the size and 10-20x more efficient than existing thermal desalination systems making it highly adaptable to a wide range of environments. Savengy is also focusing on improving the distillation process for biofuels using a co-located process to dry feedstock, which uses one eighth of the energy over conventional methods. Savengy has been sponsored by DOE and NSF.
Sixpoint Materials – Dr. Tadao Hashimoto, CEO & CTO
Santa Barbara, CA | 2 Employees: SixPoint Materials, Inc. was founded in 2006, as a spin-off from the Nitrides’ group in the materials department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The company’s core technology is the ammonothermal growth of bulk GaN crystal. Ammonothermal technology will provide higher quality, lower cost GaN wafers than the conventional GaN wafers produced by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). This revolutionary technology will realize high performance, low-cost GaN-on-GaN devices including high-power devices, RF devices, ultra-high brightness LEDs and ultra-high power blue/green laser diodes for industrial use. Sixpoint has successfully won multiple SBIR Phase I and II Awards through the Department of Energy, U.S. Navy, and NSF.
Semplastics – Bill and Sue Easter, Co-owners
Oviedo, FL | 12 Employees: Semplastics‘ X-MAT division creates sustainable, customized material systems which provide market dominance for its customers. The firm has received over $4 million in funding from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab. Using X-MAT technology and through SBIR/FOA support, Semplastics has created coal core composite building materials which both sequester carbon from the coal and prevent the finished products from burning. One recent project involves constructing an entire house made of coal, composed of coal-derived roof-tiles, bricks/blocks, and facades. Semplastics is targeting significant job creation in coal producing areas. In addition, Semplastics has invented a new material for Lithium Ion Batteries that gives them a higher energy density that will make electric cars travel farther distances between charges.
Skysun Solar – Jim Clair, Founder & President
Cleveland, OH | 2 Employees: Founded in 2012, Skysun Solar aims to fill the need for affordable yet beautiful solar power systems. Skysun has developed racking and tracking to elevate and support multiple panels allowing the land underneath to be used for additional purposes. Skysun’s patented systems have been tested for years in different environments, from New Mexico to the Midwest, and through partnerships with the Department of Energy, Sandia National Labs, and NASA. Skysun has received a DOE Small Business Voucher and a DOE SBIR Phase I award.
Sunfig – Ashton Vandemark, Business Unit Manager
Oakland, CA | 5 Employees: Sunfig develops design optimization and analysis software for utility-scale solar projects. The firm’s products support utilities and developers across the country to achieve higher project margins and drive the solar industry to be more competitive against traditional energy sources. Sunfig worked previously with the DOE to refine and commercialize a novel algorithm developed in a national lab, with the goal of improving the monitoring and safety of commercial and residential solar installations. At the end of 2020, Gibraltar Industries acquired Sunfig, which has enabled the group to expand operations in both Oakland, CA and Columbus, OH
Tectonicus Constructs – Ben Lepley, Founder
Bisbee, AZ | 7 Employees: Tectonicus was founded in 2012 by architect Ben Lepley. The team of engineers, economists, architects, and researchers are currently working on the Solar River Project, a structural solution to support PV panels over irrigation canals. These Canal Spanning Solar Projects (CSSP) upgrade the infrastructure, reduce energy costs, and generate clean power without disrupting critical agricultural land. This project, critical to America’s farmers, has been supported by Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Tectonicus is looking to expand its projects to California, New Mexico, and Colorado.
TERRACOH – John Griffin, CEO
Minnetonka, MN | 4 Employees: TERRACOH seeks to expand current geologic opportunities of geothermal potential while simultaneously sequestering millions of tonnes of CO2 safely belowground. TERRACOH’s novel geothermal technology which uses CO2 as its geologic working fluid, enables the sequestration of millions of tonnes of CO2 safely belowground, while incorporating power systems aboveground enabling dispatchable, scalable, baseload, negative-emission power production. The firm has also developed high efficiency, affordable, small to grid-scale energy storage with its Earth Battery® technology. TERRACOH’s suite of technologies are particularly well-suited to transition/leverage the oil and gas workforce to a renewable future. The firm has won Phase I and II SBIR Awards from the Department of Energy.
Tusaar – Gautam Khanna, CEO
Westminster, CO | 5 Employees: Established in 2009, Tusaar is working to advance drinking water and wastewater treatment, valuable metals extraction and recovery, and nuclear waste management. The firm has developed the chemistry to transform regular carbon and significantly enhance its capability to sequester metals from drinking water and wastewater streams. This simplified process achieves better results and is more cost effective than competing technologies. Tusaar’s technology is licensed from the University of Colorado and its development has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. Tusaar has most recently received DOE funding to develop methods to extract rare earth metals from geothermal brine and other sources. These methods can also be applied to extraction of rare earth metals from mining waste streams.
Wyonics – Kristin diBona, Founder & CEO
Laramie, WY | 4 Employees: Wyonics is a rare earth metal extraction firm based in Laramie, Wyoming. The company has utilized SBIR funding to develop its technology and is in negotiations for a sub-contract for lithium extraction for geothermal brines. Wyonics’ extraction methods have the potential to open up alternative rare earth sources to alleviate the cost and environmental impact associated with mining in order to establish a reliable source of rare earths in the United States. Coal and coal by-products such as fly ash are known to contain rare earths, with an estimated 6 million MTs of rare earths in the western state coal basins- Wyonics has developed a method for extracting rare earths directly from coal or coal by-products using inexpensive, nonvolatile ionic liquids designed for the direct dissolution of coal at low temperatures.
Xage Security- Duncan Greatwood, CEO
Palo Alto, CA | 45+ Employees: Xage is the first and only zero trust real-world security company. Powered by the Xage Fabric, the company’s Identity & Access Management (IAM), remote access and dynamic data security solutions allow customers to secure, manage and transform operations. With its distributed, scalable and easy-to-operate Fabric, Xage solves the complex digitization challenges of the real-world operations we rely on to include utilities, critical infrastructure, and renewable energy. Xage has won SBIR awards from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy for the innovative approach to securing operations and preventing cyber–attacks. Xage’s prior work through DOE involved the enhancement of a blockchain protected security fabric for infrastructure protection.
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