In episode 142 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, I speak with Hans De Neve, Founder and CEO of Carbyon, on winning the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Milestone Award and the future of renewable energy through direct air capture.
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What is Carbon Removal?
Carbon removal is the process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. There are a variety of methods that can be used to remove carbon, including planting trees, capture and storage, and biochar.
Carbon removal is important because it can help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, slowing down climate change.
Capture and storage involves capturing carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial facilities and storing it underground. Biochar is a type of charcoal that is made from plant matter, and it can be used to improve soil health while also sequestering carbon dioxide.
Carbon removal can also have other benefits, such as improving air quality and providing a source of water for plants. While there are a number of potential benefits to carbon removal, it is important to note that it is not a cure-all for climate change.
Carbon removal alone will not be enough to halt the effects of climate change, but it can help to slow down the process and give us time to find collaborative solutions.
After finishing his PhD at IMEC, Hans became a researcher within the Alcatel Research & Innovation division – currently part of the Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs organization.
Subsequently he’s worked for several product units of Alcatel-Lucent where he continued to look for product differentiators and product innovation – facing the challenge to turn innovative ideas into commercial successes.
Hans has Master degree’s from KU Leuven and Ghent University in Physics of Microelectronics, Materials Science, Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics. He also has PhD from Ghent University in Micro-electronics, solid state lighting, and III-V semiconductors.
After Alcatel-Lucent, Hans started to specialize in the field of renewable energy, first at VITO in Belgium, later at ECN and TNO in The Netherlands. Following the great experience, he founded Carbyon, a start-up to develop machines that can capture CO2 from air.
Carbyon is developing equipment to filter CO2 from the air and store it underground.
Recently, the Dutch start-up was named a Milestone Award winner of the XPRIZE for Carbon Removal. This $1 million incentive prize, funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, is part of the four-year global XPRIZE competition.
The organization invited innovators and teams worldwide to create a solution that can extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere or oceans and store it in an environmentally friendly way for good.
“For us, winning this award means being recognized. XPRIZE is like the world championship within our field. The fact that the jury ranks our concept among the fifteen best in the world means a lot to us. It is fantastic that three years after the start of our company we are already playing at this level.” Hans de Neve, CEO at Carbyon.
Carbyon is a start-up company with the purpose of turning direct air capture into an affordable and scalable technology that can be used to turn the corner on climate change.
Carbyon is located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. This is one of the world’s leading technology research and innovation centers.
Carbyon is a team of scientists and engineers working closely together on one common goal: scale up this technology cost-effectively and provide the world with a powerful tool in the fight against climate change.
Their technology is aimed at saving our planet from climate change. The company strives to maximize impact towards this purpose. Profit serves as a means to achieve this and is not an end in itself.
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 700+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.