Combining Solar and Biotech to Generate Energy, Filter Co2By Cas Biekmann | Fri, 10/16/2020 - 09:30
Q: What was Greenfluidics’ mission in establishing itself in the Mexican market and how has it developed?
A: The company was mainly interested in decentralized energy, in the form of distributed generation (DG). In that sense, we integrate a different approach: we do not only produce energy. We provide an additional benefit in the capture of carbon dioxide and production of oxygen, as well as the production of biomass. In that sense, our mission is to produce well-being through new products. Our products are not only useful for companies constructing infrastructure but also serve the agricultural and energy industries. We believe it is important to produce solutions for a new global energy order, where energy is part of the wider solution for our environment.
Q: What is the main success story for the company so far?
A: The main success can be found in the genuine interest of this Mexican technology in other countries. An example is the German company Siemens Energy, which is looking for new ways to power and energize society. It is interested in adopting our technology for their smart city ideas, focused on rural regions. Another area where we received corroboration is the United Arab Emirates, where we are involved in a construction project in Sharjah, near Dubai. Our main success is that we developed a new and unique invention. Seeing it receive validation in countries such as Germany, where Industry 4.0 was practically born, proves the soundness of the product.
Q: How does the technology work?
A: Solar radiation is concentrated in nanofluids. These fluids consist of carbon nanoparticles and are, therefore, organic and recyclable. Heat conductivity increases when the particles are added to water. The concentrated solar heat from the panel is then transformed thermoelectrically into an electrical current. This basically translates to useful electricity. On the other side, microalgae are featured in an innovative bioreactor. The algae capture carbon dioxide and turn this into oxygen. Even though they exist everywhere, they are different to each geographical area. Although we need to adapt the microalgae in every country, the principle remains the same. This is even the case in microgravity environments.
Aerospace is an important area for us because the company really is a biotechnological aerospace company. In microgravity, flows are slower. You can control the growth of microalgae on space stations because of this, resulting in better designs. In the case of these stations, the production of oxygen is crucial. As the private sector enters space, space stations need to produce energy, oxygen and biomass efficiently. Our solution is a good way to achieve all of this. But the device could also be implemented in a building as a window. The room inside that building will have better oxygen. Finally, our solution also captures data, such as how much carbon dioxide is removed and turned into CO2.
Q: Where could GREENfluidics’ technology be of best use?
A: In Mexico’s energy sector, our technology addresses energy efficiency. Here, we can introduce our technology to improve energy performance. It is important to be efficient regarding the use of power in all industrial processes. There is a great deal of energy waste in these, processes which our solution could help reduce. Take the cement industry, for instance. It generates a great deal of emissions, for which it needs a certificate to prove that it is mitigating that output. Our product efficiently captures carbon emissions and make use of all the wase heat that is captured in the production process to produce biomass and electricity toward other purposes.
The agricultural industry could also benefit. Not only can we make production processes simpler, but our system can be used to combine waste water with microalgae. This, in turn, can be used as a biological fertilizer for soil. Through our monitoring of how much carbon dioxide is processed, we help these companies to gather better data to help facilitate the export of the industry’s products.
Q: The company hoped to quadruple its sales for this year. How has the pandemic affected the company’s objective and where does it see the biggest opportunities?
A: One of the issues with the pandemic was that many of our experiments were halted. Manufacturing was affected as well. Additionally, we expected further growth outside of Mexico, which also slowed down. For the moment, the best opportunities to achieve our first installation and make good on our promise of growth are probably in the UAE, USA and Europe. Later, it could be possible to have some installations in Mexico, particularly in the main industries interested in reducing their CO2 emissions. Some cities that face problematic pollution have great potential as well, Mexico City among them. Our expectations for growth are therefore optimistic.
Q: What are the company’s main goals for 2020-2021?
A: The main goal is to achieve the corroboration of our solution in an area where Industry 4.0 has already taken root. Our solution will perform better where this modernized infrastructure is already installed because all the benefits could be showcased. We need all the data of the region to see the true performance of the solution in the city it has been implemented in. Our goal is to change the bio-tech industry and break the standard paradigm, focusing it more on the aspects of welfare.
GREENfluidics is a Mexican startup, developing revolutionary solar biopanels that use microalgae and nanofluids to generate energy and filter carbon dioxide. The solution further captures data regarding its performance.