Vancouver-based Inventys Thermal Technologies, a VC-funded carbon capture technology firm, added former DOE Secretary Steven Chu to its Board of Directors. The startup claims that is has developed a breakthrough in capturing CO2 from coal and natural gas power plants with a "capture cost of about $15 per ton of CO2" -- significantly less than existing methods.
According to the company, the Inventys system is based on a low-pressure thermal swing method whereby "a slowly rotating structure holds a proprietary material that traps carbon dioxide when it is cool and releases it when it is hot. On half of the rotation cycle, flue gas from the power plant is passed through the material and the CO2 in the flue gas is captured. On the other half of the cycle, steam is injected into the material to release the CO2, the leftover steam is condensed out, leaving pure CO2, and the material cools down to be ready for the next cycle. The CO2 is then pumped underground for CCS or EOR applications, or is used as a feedstock for chemical manufacturing or other industrial applications."
Dr. Chu is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. The lead investor in Inventys is the Roda Group, which is also an investor in renewable oils firm Solazyme (SZYM).
Solazyme named David C. Cole as President, filling the role held by Harrison Dillon. Cole most recently held the position of CEO of Maui Land & Pineapple Company and helped form the Brazil Renewable Energy Company, as well as Hawaii BioEnergy. He has been an advisor to Solazyme since 2010.
Ben Bierman is now COO of GlassPoint Solar. He was formerly VP of Engineering at GlassPoint; before that, he was EVP of Operations and Engineering at Solyndra.
Adam Bergman joined Silicor (the former Calisolar) as SVP of business and corporate development. Silicor claims that it can build solar-grade silicon at $9 per kilogram, approximately half the current cost. Bergman brings twenty years of experience with global investment banks, including Deutsche Bank, Jefferies & Company and JPMorgan Chase.
A123 Energy Solutions, a utility-scale energy storage firm that is part of the Wanxiang Group, named Stephen DeBruyn to the role of VP of Operations. Prior to this position, Steve was EVP of Manufacturing and Operations at Eppendorf, a major capital equipment manufacturer in the life sciences industry.