Calgary-based NanosTech wins inventures net-zero energy pitch competition

NanosTech is actively changing how we extract and use energy, paving the way for Canada to reach its net-zero goal

Calgary-based NanosTech wins inventures net-zero energy pitch competition
Miranda Stahn
January 19, 2022

Originally published on LinkedIn

At very few points in our lives, we see a technology so disruptive that it completely changes a well-established process, trend, or way of conducting business. This is even rarer in established industries like the energy sector, which have been heavily rooted in traditional oil and gas technology since the late 70s. However, through their hallmark nanocatalyst technology, NanosTech is actively changing how we extract and use energy, paving the way for Canada to reach its net-zero goals.

It’s this thinking that enabled NanosTech, to win Inventures’ 2021 Net-Zero Emissions Energy pitch competition by demonstrating how their nanocatalyst technology can be applied to transform waste products into renewable fuel and synthetic biocrude.

During the pitch, NanosTech’s Executive Vice President Andrew McGovern can be seen next to a fiery blue 1965 Shelby Cobra, a revolutionary car for its time that serves as the perfect metaphor for what Nanos can accomplish. The even more impressive part is that this particular model runs on the company’s renewable fuel product while producing 80% fewer emissions than standard fuel vehicles.

To create this fuel, Nanos uses their proprietary reactor and catalytic upgrading process to convert renewable feedstocks such as agricultural, forestry, and municipal wastes into a renewable synthetic biocrude that can be co-processed at traditional refineries. Alternatively, they can also use these feedstocks to generate a fully refined renewable fuel that works with any internal combustion engine.

Setting NanosTech apart from other players in this space is the minimal amount of capital investment required to see the process through to completion.

“We take a scaled-down modular approach,” explains McGovern, “where we collocate our facilities close to the feedstock. This enables us to significantly reduce our capital costs from hundreds of millions of dollars to just four to five million dollars per facility.”

This strategy enables Nanos to address a critical growing pain of many of their predecessors in this space, which was the unsustainable cost of renewable fuels due to niche and costly manufacturing methods. Their overall process isn’t energy-intensive; it provides a low-cost renewable fuel that can feasibly replace traditional fossil fuels.

With support from a UK partner, the company plans to conduct field demonstrations of their technology in South America over the next year. Moreover, they anticipate having operations fully commercialized by 2023.

However, McGovern acknowledges that none of this success would be possible without NanoTech’s impeccable team of engineers, research scientists and senior leadership.

“We have the team, the vision, the technology and the execution plan to succeed,” McGovern exclaims, effectively completing the narrative on why now is the perfect time to invest not only in NanosTech but in the future of clean energy.  

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