Berkeley Lab scientist Jeff Long and students in his research lab had come up with exciting new materials for doing gas separations very efficiently, including materials for removing CO2 from a gas.
So they brought their project to Cyclotron Road, Berkeley Lab’s program for scientists looking to advance their research to the point of commercial viability.
“There are a lot of expenses in terms of people and equipment. Most investment companies are not really looking for that kind of business. Cyclotron Road has been very helpful with a way to get started to demonstrate new technology that came out of my research lab.”
These projects have also secured more than $5 million in initial private investment, with some of that funding going to Berkeley Lab scientists through cooperative research agreements.
“Not only have our innovators helped bring funding to Berkeley Lab, their scientific collaborations with Lab researchers are leading to new research directions, scientific capabilities, joint inventions, and publications,” said Ilan Gur, director of Cyclotron Road. Visolis, for example, a Cyclotron Road project led by Deepak Dugar to produce chemicals in an efficient, carbon-negative way, has secured several Small Business Innovation Research awards totaling more than $1 million, including from the Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy.
Much of their work has been done at the DOE’s Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit, a process research, development, and piloting collaboration facility run by Berkeley Lab.
Sepion’s key innovation, developed at Berkeley Lab by Molecular Foundry scientists Brett Helms and Peter Frischmann, is a microporous polymer membrane to replace incumbent separator materials, which are not processable at scale and limit the power density of the battery.