Win-Win Collaborations – Derisking Advanced Technology Commercialization: YouTube Video from David Lazovsky, Founder of Intermolecular

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David Lazovsky, Founder of Intermolecular, addresses the audience of the Advanced Materials Commercialization Summit 2017, speaking on Win-Win Collaborations: De-risking Advanced Technology Commercialization. Read More About Intermolecular

” … We sought to establish collaborative development programs with the Companies that were the end Producers.” – David Lazovsky, Founder of Intermolecular


GNT US Tenka Energy“In the end you cannot “commercialize” technology (only) … you can only commercialize a Product  (technology+application) that can be produced and scaled economically into the Marketplace. You must find a way to build a bridge to span the gap between ‘Discovery, Proof of Concept, Prototype and Scaling to Funding (Finance), Market Integration and Acceptance.”

– Bruce W. Hoy, CEO of Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc.

Pipeline coating developed at NAIT could Increase Safety, Lifetime and Productivity

Nait-PolytechnicNanotechnology pipeline coating could double the life of a pipeline.

A nanotechnology advancement being developed at Edmonton’s Northern Alberta Institute of Technology could hold the key to making pipelines safer.

Reg Allen of Meso Coat Technology Canada says the spray coats the inside of the pipe and could double the life of the line, even with something as corrosive as oil or gas flowing through it.

Western Diversification Minister Michelle Rempel was in Edmonton Friday to announce the government is giving the company $1.5 million to develop the technology.

pipeline coating

Western Diversification Minister Michelle Rempel announced the federal government is giving Meso Coat Technology Canada $1.5 million to develop the pipeline coating technology.  NAIT photo via twitter.

She says the coating could be used in a wide variety of industries, not just oil and gas.

Rempel says the company developing the coating needs to have specialized equipment to test the new materials and the federal money will help with that.

NAIT president and CEO Glenn Feltham says the technology can be applied to pipeline work, construction and mining equipment.

The Canadian Press

Lockheed Martin Tests Nanofilters for Oil and Gas Wastewater Management

The company states that the ultimate goal is water desalination, but more feasible and immediate uses can be found in the oil and gas industry, where the requirements in terms of the quality of the graphene and hole sizes are less challenging.

Lockheed simulated-nanoporous-graphene-filtering-salt-ionsLockheed Martin is working with two firms in the oil and gas industry to assess the feasibility of using Perforene filters to clean drilling wastewater. The aim is not the total elimination of contaminants but targeting the worst of them, making the problem more manageable. This goal only requires 50-100 nanometer sized holes, compared to 1 nanometer holes required for desalination.

The company claims that commercialization of Perforene filters could begin in the next five years, possibly with some sort of medical device that would only require small amounts. Finding a way to produce graphene with single nanometer-sized holes on a commercial scale for desalination would probably take five or more years. The company has tested it only on a small scale, but the results were promising.

Lockheed is not ready to commercialize this technology yet. They are still refining the process for making the holes in graphene, and also the production process of the graphene itself. They had expected to have a prototype filter by the end of 2013. This prototype will be a drop-in replacement for current filters used in reverse osmosis (RO) plants. They hope to commercialize this technology by 2014-2015 and are looking for partners in the filter manufacturing arena.

This is not the first time we hear of water desalination using graphene membranes. In June 2012 MIT scientists have shown (in simulations) that nanoporous graphene can filter salt from water at a rate that is 2-3 orders of magnitude faster than today’s best commercial RO desalination technology. Back in October 2010 researchers from Australia and Shanghai have developed a Capacitive Deionization (CDI) application that uses graphene-like nanoflakes as electrodes (CDI is a relatively new way to purify water). Earlier in 2010 Korean researchers have made a new type of composite material made from reduced graphene oxide and magnetite that could effectively remove arsenic from drinking water.

In 2013, Lockheed Martin developed a water desalination technology with nanometer-sized holes, with hopes of commercialization around 2014-2015.

Source: reuters

Nanotechnology in Oil and Natural Gas Production

nanotech%20conceptFlotek Industries, Inc. announced today sponsorship of applied research at Texas A&M University to investigate the impact of nanotechnology on oil and natural gas production in emerging, unconventional resource plays.
“With the acceleration of activity in oil and gas producing shales, a better understanding of the impact of various completion chemistries on tight formations with low porosity and permeability will be key to developing optimal completion techniques in the future,” said John Chisholm, Flotek’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“While we know Flotek’s Complex nano-Fluid chemistries have been successful in enhancing production in tight resource formations, we believe a more complete understanding of the interaction between our chemistries and geologic formations as well as a more precise comprehension of the physical properties and impact of our nanofluids in the completion process will significantly enhance the efficacy of the unconventional hydrocarbon completion process. This research continues our relationship with Texas A&M where we also are conducting research into acidizing applications in Enhanced Oil Recovery.”

Specifically, the research will focus its investigation on the oil recovery potential of complex nanofluids and select surfactants under subsurface pressure and temperature conditions of liquids-rich shales.
Dr. I. Yucel Akkutlu, Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University will serve as the principal investigator for the project. Dr. Akkutlu received his Masters and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California. He has over a decade of postgraduate theoretical and experimental research experience in unconventional oil and gas recovery, enhanced oil recovery and reactive flow and transport in heterogeneous porous media. He has recently participated in industry-sponsored research on resource shales including analysis of microscopic data to better understand fluid storage and transport properties of organic-rich shales.
“As unconventional resource opportunities continue to grow in importance to hydrocarbon production, understanding ways to maximize recovery will be key to improving the efficacy of these projects,” said Dr. Akkutlu. “The key to enhancing recovery will be to best understand robust, new technologies and their impact on the completion process. Research into complex nanofluid chemistries to understand the physical properties and formation interactions will play an integral role in the future of completion design to optimize recovery from unconventional hydrocarbon resources.”
Source: Flotek Industries

Genesis Nanotech Headlines Are Out!

Organ on a chip organx250Genesis Nanotech Headlines Are Out! Read All About It!!headlines

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Chairman Terry: “Nanotech is a true science race between the nations, and we should be encouraging the transition from research breakthroughs to commercial development.”

WASHINGTON, DCThe Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today held a hearing on:

“Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.”




“Great Things from Small Things!” … We Couldn’t Agree More!


Nanotech for Oil, Gas Applications – A “Smoother Flow”

Hawaii Nano hf_134212_articleA “smart coating” initially developed to help U.S. Navy ships ply through water more efficiently could help pipeline operators transport more crude oil without using costlier larger-diameter pipe or adding horsepower to pumps, according to the head of a Hawaii-based science, engineering and technology firm.

“The use of nanomaterials opens up a whole new dimension,” said Patrick Sullivan, founder and CEO of Oceanit. The company’s “Anhydra” coating technology manipulates the properties of a surface at the nanoscale –1,000 times smaller than a human hair, he noted.

“If you can control surfaces at that scale, you can create structures with specific performances that would otherwise be impossible,” continued Sullivan. “Being able to control something on that scale and then scaling it out creates tremendous efficiencies.” In the case of its original application as an antifouling coating to reduce drag on the hulls of naval vessels, Anhydra enables ships to go faster without expending extra energy for propulsion, Sullivan said.

Hawaii Nano hf_134212_article

Nanotech surface treatment could boost pipeline flow assurance, says exec.

The coating helps surfaces to behave differently and actually extends the service life of the material to which it is applied, he explained. Applications in Oil, Gas Oceanit is researching and developing new formulations of Anhydra for the military as well as the aerospace, healthcare and oil and gas industries. In the latter case, the company sees considerable potential for the technology to enhance and protect metallic surfaces exposed to a wide range of temperatures and pressures both offshore and onshore.

One potential application is an internal pipeline coating that repels crude oil – and the water and other constituents in it – in order to improve flow and prevent corrosion, Sullivan said. The technology’s “ice-phobic” properties could also prevent methane hydrates from accumulating in subsea pipelines, he added.

“In the oil and gas industry it’s a huge thing because if you can reduce the drag in a pipeline, that means for the same pump you get more distance or you can move material with the same amount of energy.” Aside from easing product movement inside pipelines, Oceanit’s nanotech coating could also protect the exterior surfaces of pipelines, offshore platforms and myriad other oil and gas infrastructure from corrosion, added Sullivan. Coatings could be designed to repair scratches and abrasions, protect a metallic surface from the elements and preempt the onset of corrosion, he explained.

Oceanit’s work on oil and gas applications of Anhydra has been limited to the laboratory, but the company has been actively courting industry players to partner in the critical step to scale up the technology. “We’ll develop the technology in a lab setting and then work collaboratively with an operator that will use it” in the field, Sullivan explained.

In addition to opening an office in the world’s energy capital Houston, Oceanit has stepped up its presence at major oil and gas events such as the recent Offshore Technology Conference and will be on-hand at International Association of Drilling Contractors and Society of Petroleum Engineers events this fall. The company’s outreach efforts to date have been fruitful, Sullivan noted.

“We’re in some discussions right now, we’re testing with some operators and and going to scale with some others,” he said, adding that Oceanit has been in “very preliminary” talks with manufacturers. “We’re always looking at how to go to scale because this industry is all about scale.” Oceanit also is in the process of deploying one of its high-performance coatings in the field, said Vinod Veedu, the company’s Houston-based director of strategic initiatives.

“We’ve quickly scaled up from the laboratory to the field in a matter of months,” Veedu concluded. “It’s an exciting time to be supporting this fast-moving industry.”

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U of Alberta PhD Researcher seeks New Solutions for Cleaner Oilsands


PhD student wins scholarship to help find environmentally friendly ways of producing hydrogen for energy industry.

(Edmonton) We live in a province rich in fossil fuel resources, and great profits can be made from them. However, the use of these fossil fuels comes at a significant environmental cost. The greenhouse gas emissions footprint of Alberta’s oilsands industry is one of its most formidable challenges in the context of environmental stewardship.

Babatunde Olateju, a PhD candidate in the University of Alberta’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and a recipient of this year’s $13,000 Sadler Graduate Scholarships in Mechanical Engineering, is researching ways to mitigate an energy-intensive aspect of oilsands activities: hydrogen production.

Huge amounts of hydrogen are consumed in upgrading bitumen to synthetic crude oil, and considerable energy is consumed simply to produce usable hydrogen. (The use of hydrogen is expected to reach 3.1 million tonnes per year in the oilsands industry by 2023.) Hydrogen is an abundant simple element and is a potential source of emissions-free fuel. But hydrogen doesn’t exist on its own; it is locked up in water, carbon (coal) and other elements.

Albera Oil Sands II

Alberta ‘Oil Sands’ Projects

Most of the hydrogen used as a fuel in North America is extracted through a process known as steam methane reforming. This process results in considerable greenhouse gas emissions. Olateju is building computer models that consider both the technology and the costs of producing hydrogen through more environmentally friendly means.

His models consider two alternatives to current methods of producing hydrogen: one is using energy produced from renewable sources such as wind and hydro power, and the other is finding ways to mitigate the effects of hydrogen production as it is currently produced (with natural gas and coal) through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) or underground coal gasification.

CCS is the geological storage (landfilling) of carbon dioxide generated from use of fossil fuels. CCS is still in the early stages of development. Underground coal gasification is a method of converting coal to gas (syngas) underground, and can be used in combination with CCS. Even if used without CCS, underground gasification results in a lower greenhouse gas footprint than traditional methods of coal combustion.

Olateju’s computer models assess large-scale, environmentally sustainable hydrogen production systems (and their costs) for the bitumen upgrading industry in Western Canada. This is data-intensive work; he uses data sourced mainly from refereed journals but also from government and industry. Despite these data, in Western Canada, very little research has been done on producing hydrogen in environmentally sustainable yet economically feasible ways. Olateju says the work is time-consuming but it remains a stimulating endeavour, especially considering the insight that can be gained from the model results. The oilsands industry is expanding, and it’s imperative that we find ways to make its growth sustainable.

There’s a need for environmental stewardship to balance the growth. Given the considerable amount of hydrogen used in the upgrading of bitumen, finding ways to produce hydrogen with lower or no greenhouse gas emissions will make a huge impact. Olateju is seeing his papers published in high-impact journals and receiving academic awards. In addition to the Sadler Graduate Scholarship, he received the Government of Alberta’s Graduate Citizenship Award. This is not surprising for the former co-president of the U of A’s Energy Club and, until December 2013, president of the university’s Nigerian Students’ Association. Olateju is part of a research program led by Amit Kumar, who holds the Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Cenovus Energy, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions, and Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions.

Dave Hassan, Cenovus’s director of technology investments, said, “We believe that it is imperative for society to understand how to make the best use of our energy and water resources. The research pursued by Olateju and his colleagues at the U of A is critical to developing this understanding, and we look forward to learning more about his findings.” Olateju says he feels “profound gratitude” toward the U of A and especially toward the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

He also feels “a strong sense of fulfilment and motivation to sustain and deepen my intellectual pursuits, within and beyond the confines of academia. My journey to the University of Alberta was eventful, and not without its fair share of challenges and sacrifices.” Olateju values his relationships with his colleagues in the sustainable energy research group and adds that his relationship with Kumar “has been the most influential factor for my intellectual growth and research success.”

Asia-Pacific to Invest $2.5 trillion in Renewables to Build New Power Capacity Needed by 2030

Renewable Energy Pix5 Tera-Watts of NEW POWER Needed Worldwide by 2030 

The Asia-Pacific region will invest a massive $3.6 trillion over the years ahead to equip itself with the power capacity it needs for 2030. Two thirds of that sum will go on renewable generation technologies such as wind, solar and hydro-electric, according to a major report from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The report, BNEF 2030 Market Outlook, based on modelling of electricity market supply and demand, technology cost evolution and policy development in individual countries and regions, forecasts that Asia-Pacific will account for more than half of the 5TW of net new power capacity that will be added worldwide in the next decade and a half.
This will equate to $3.6 trillion of investment in Asia-Pacific.[1] Fossil fuel sources such as coal-fired and gas-fired generation will continue to grow in the region, despite rising concerns about pollution and climate change, but the biggest growth will be in renewables, with some $2.5 trillion invested and 1.7TW of capacity added.
Milo Sjardin, head of Asia Pacific for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “The period to 2030 is going to see spectacular growth in solar in this region, with nearly 800GW of rooftop and utility-scale PV added. This will be driven by economics, not subsidies – our analysis suggests that solar will be fully competitive with other power sources by 2020, only six years from now.
“However, that does not mean that the days of fossil-fuel power are over. Far from it – rapid economic growth in Asia will still drive net increases of 434GW in coal-fired capacity and 314GW in gas-fired plant between now and 2030. That means that emissions will continue to increase for many years to come.”
Looking at individual countries in the region, China is forecast to add a net 1.4TW of new generating capacity between now and 2030 to meet power demand that is double that of today. This will require capital investment of around $2 trillion, of which 72% will go to renewables such as wind, solar and hydro.
Japan’s power sector will experience a very different trajectory in the next 16 years, with electricity demand only regaining its 2010 levels in 2021 and then growing at a modest 1% a year, as efficiency gains partially offset economic growth. Some $203bn is expected to be invested in new power generation capacity by 2030, with $116bn of that going to rooftop solar and $72bn to other renewable technologies.
India is forecast to see a quadrupling of its power generation capacity, from 236GW in 2013 to 887GW in 2030, with 169GW of the additions taking the form of utility-scale solar and 98GW onshore wind. Hydro will see capacity boosted by 95GW, coal by 155GW and gas by 55GW. Total investment to 2030 will be $754bn, with $477bn of that in renewables.


India RE images

Global Numbers
Globally, Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects $7.7 trillion to be invested in new generating capacity by 2030, with 66% of that going on renewable technologies including hydro. Out of the $5.1 trillion to be spent on renewables, Asia-Pacific will account for $2.5 trillion, the Americas $816bn, Europe $967bn and the rest of the world including Middle East and Africa $818bn.
Fossil fuels will retain the biggest share of power generation by 2030 at 44%, albeit down from 64% in 2013. Some 1,073GW of new coal, gas and oil capacity worldwide will be added over the next 16 years, excluding replacement plant. The vast majority will be in developing countries seeking to meet the increased power demand that comes with industrialisation, and also to balance variable generation sources such as wind and solar. Solar PV and wind will increase their combined share of global generation from 3% last year to 16% in 2030.
Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commented: “This country-by-country, technology-by-technology forecast of power market investment is more bullish on renewable energy’s future share of total generation than some of the other major forecasts, largely because we have a more bullish view of continuing cost reductions. What we are seeing is global CO2 emissions on track to stop growing by the end of next decade, with the peak only pushed back because of fast-growing developing countries, which continue adding fossil fuel capacity as well as renewables.”
More on the data and the methodology can be found here.
[1] The actual period in which these investment allocations are made will be 2013-26, in order for the equivalent generating capacity to be commissioned by 2030.
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Accelerating Innovation in Alberta

U of Alberta 140618-emerald-awards-ualberta-sign-teaserUAlberta partnership with TEC Edmonton, Innovate Calgary receives federal funding to help grow promising startups. By TEC Edmonton Staff on June 24, 2014 (Edmonton)

A partnership of the University of Alberta, TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary has been selected by the Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program to help business accelerators and incubators deliver their services to promising Canadian firms.

TEC Edmonton, Edmonton’s leading business incubator and accelerator, will offer additional business services to health-based startup companies, including new companies spun off from medical research at the U of A. Innovate Calgary, TEC Edmonton’s counterpart in Calgary, will focus its funding on energy-related high-tech startups.

With the U of A, the two business incubator/accelerators will also put the new funding to work by linking investment-ready new companies to existing investor networks focused on new, made-in-Alberta technologies.

U of Alberta 140618-emerald-awards-ualberta-sign-teaser

“This is fantastic news,” said Lorne Babiuk, vice-president (research) at the U of A. “It’s another example of how the University of Alberta continues to transfer its knowledge, discoveries and technologies into the community via commercialization to benefit society, the economy and Canada as a whole. We are delighted to be partnering with Innovate Calgary and TEC Edmonton, which are Alberta’s largest and most successful incubators, and among the best in the country. I thank the Government of Canada for their support and for this valuable program.” “CAIP funding allows us and our partners to enhance and expand our services supporting the innovation community and Alberta’s overall economic prosperity,” said Peter Garrett, president of Innovate Calgary.

“With our shareholders the University of Calgary, the Calgary Chamber and the City of Calgary, Innovate Calgary is committed to accelerating the growth of early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.” “TEC Edmonton is a true community partnership,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “We were created by the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton (through the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation) with strong support from the regional entrepreneurial community, technology investors, the Province of Alberta, the Canadian government and hundreds of volunteers.

With such support, TEC Edmonton has grown into one of Canada’s best tech accelerators. “This new federal funding strengthens TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary’s ability to help grow great new companies and to further commercialize research at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.”

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Algorithms are Becoming Key to Designing New Materials

MidSummer solar panelsFrom solar panels to batteries, algorithms are becoming key to designing new materials






Summary: Materials science is being transformed by algorithms, and computers are now selecting new material combinations to test in the lab.

In the future, materials that could make a super efficient solar panel or a breakthrough battery probably won’t be discovered by a smart human scientist. Like everything else in this world, computers and software are increasingly identifying the best combination of materials to deliver a desired result, and then human researchers are testing out those computers’ choices in the lab.

For University of Colorado professor Alex Zunger, that idea is a fundamental change in materials research. Zunger is the chief theorist at the Center for Inverse Design, and at the SunShot Summit last week he spoke about how “inverse design” — identifying specific properties that are desired in a material, then determining that material’s required atomic structure — could transform sectors like solar.

Silicon wafers (solar)

For decades, materials for new applications have been selected to be tested “rather casually,” said Zunger, based on “simple ideas,” or even “availability in the lab.” But now, thanks to sophisticated algorithms, scientists can use computer intelligence to make these choices.

Zunger is particularly interested in using inverse design and computer intelligence to figure out the optimal materials to use quantum dots for solar materials. Quantum dots are little pieces of semiconductor crystals — less than 10 nanometers — that are so small they have different properties and characteristics than larger semiconductor pieces. But so far, Zunger says, there hasn’t been an obvious winning combination for solar quantum dots.

Zunger isn’t the only one doing this. It’s actually a hot trend for some of the most cutting-edge materials startups out there.


For example, a startup called Pellion Technologies, which was spun out of MIT, developed advanced algorithms and computer modeling that enabled it to test out 10,000 potential cathode materials to fit with a magnesium anode for a battery. Now the startup is developing a magnesium battery, which could have a very high energy density, and if it works could be important for electric vehicles and grid storage.

A founder of Pellion, MIT professor Gerbrand Ceder, helped develop the Materials Genome Project at MIT, which is a program that uses computer modeling and virtual simulations to deliver innovation in materials. The Economist once described Ceder’s work with the Materials Genome Project as “a short cut” for discovering electrodes and the interactions of inorganic chemical compounds.


Other smart people are also working on this idea. Columbia University’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering spearheaded important work in the area, and professors Venkat Venkatasubramanian and Sanat Kumar recently published research on their work designing nanostructured materials with an inverse design framework and genetic algorithms.

While this trend might seem like yet another way that computers are replacing humans, it’s actually an example of ways that computers can leverage massive data sets (that humans can’t) to advance society and make life better — for humans. It’s similar to the way that automated vehicles will make driving more efficient, safer and more productive. Odds are that the material breakthroughs of the future will come from this combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence.