Photo - enVerde LLC
53650

enVerde LLC

Solving waste problems with new clean energy solutions

USA, Minnesota
Market: Another
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 06.09.2021
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Idea

enVerde manages carbon in our environment by economically converting solid and liquid wastes into clean energy and green chemicals using advanced catalytically-driven thermochemical gasification.

Current Status

TRL-4 transitioning to TRL-5-7 at this time. Two patents have been issued for the technology through our technology/commercialization partner the University of Minnesota. Everything has been bootstrapped to date. We have many existing relationships including Cummins, P&G, and Land O'Lakes. We have conducted 100+ Voice of the Customer interviews. enVerde has participated in several accelerator programs including gener8tor's gBETA, CDL, and WERCBench Labs. Once scale-up work has been completed (Q3 2021) we are ready to commercialize and use funds for building our first plant.

Market

Organic, carbon-based wastes exist anywhere we have people, plants, or animals. It is plentiful, too plentiful, and it exists across the globe. Usually, you cannot (or should not) say your technology can be used everywhere but, in our case, it can! Like water, food, and air, energy is essential to life and it is needed everywhere. The demand for energy will more than double by the year 2050 AND we do not have the resources to keep up with that demand. Today, over 1.4 billion people are already without ready access to energy so we are already in a deficit. We also need to meet this demand without damaging our environment. enVerde has identified the following market segments for our business plans: agriculture, industrial, commercial, municipal, government/military, transportation, and social impact categories. We see residential being a future market as well as we learn to miniaturize the technology. Our beachhead markets are the ag and industrial markets due to the needs those markets face, availability of feedstock supplies, and government desires across the globe. We have segmented those opportunities and l examined potential market sizes. We believe we can produce the equivalent of 50 megawatts of power in 5 years time with an ROI of 50%.

Problem or Opportunity

Carbon-based wastes grow daily across the globe (4.9 pounds created per day per person) and we continue to introduce new sources of carbon, usually fossil fuels, on top of the carbon wastes we already have in our environment. We need a carbon-management technology that takes the existing carbon in our environment and utilizes them in good ways repurposing them from being costly environmental problems. We need a sustainable circular economy solution to these problems wastes create: environmental damage and costs.

Solution (product or service)

enVerde has a new form of gasification that provides significant advantages versus current technologies. Our technology very efficiently converts carbon-based wastes into syngas and heat which can both be used as energy sources. Syngas, while a fuel on its own for many applications, is also a building block for many other clean energy fuels and green chemicals. The heat from our very exothermic process can be used to heat buildings, heat water, and even make steam. The applications are many, the waste streams infinite, and our technological advantages are significant.

Competitors

LanzaTech (Illinois)
Fulcrum Bioenergy (California)
Enerkem (Quebec, Canada)
Ensyn (Ontario, Canada)
Numerous traditional gasification systems

Advantages or differentiators

Reduction/elimination of carbon-based waste streams
Lower cost of capital
Lower operating costs
Higher yields (mass balances and energy balances)
Higher quality of syngas
Instantaneous processing
Scalable
Portable/mobile as well as stationary capabilities
Feedstock flexibility-we can use a wider variety of feedstocks than others
No/low water required for the processes
Applications
Synergies with other technologies
Lowers carbon footprints/carbon intensities

Finance

We project 50 megawatts of capacity at the equivalent of $0.10/MW of margin. Customers will finance the capital requirements and provide the wastes to us free and we will charge them 1) a royalty for converting their wastes to syngas and heat 2) a royalty for further upgrading the syngas and heat for other products/processes and 3) for managing/running the assets if they choose not to do so themselves. There will be minimum offtake agreements to guarantee revenues over a period of time (essentially the same concept as a purchased power agreement). Of course, the financiers will also be incentivized for a return as soon as possible so the more processed the better. It is possible to be cash flow positive, including amortization of the assets, in year 1. Our assets initially will cost $3.5M per megawatt of capacity (throughput of 2 truckloads or 80-90,000 pounds of feedstock/day). The cost per megawatt can be reduced based on economies of scale in the design phase.

Business model

Initially, we will favor an own/operate model with guaranteed throughputs with customer partners and co-located opportunities. This lowers supply chain costs, provides great incentives, and makes the model economically viable fr om the start. Eventually, we will migrate to more of a license model wh ere the customer finances all projects and pays enVerde royalties for the use of the technology and possibly managing the assets. ROIs will be in the low 20s and up.

Money will be spent on

Designing, building, and operating our first commercial plant/assets. Nominally a 1 MW capacity system that will be portable so we can move it to potential customer locations.

Offer for investor

We are seeking investors that have a common vision and want to be partners versus solely having a transactional relationship. We see our financial partners as being critical in our successful commercialization journey and hopefully our substantial growth pathway. That critical relationship could yield several different structures for us to consider for win/win outcomes and we look forward to those conversations.

Team or Management

Risks

We are a new technology so there is always the reluctance for customers to go first. We are helping to mitigate those concerns by a progressive pathway we have developed and will be implementing shortly:

- Identify the waste stream(s) the customer wants to reduce/eliminate
- Conduct a "paper" review of the potential for the identified feedstocks
- Obtain customer feedstock samples, run those through our process on a pilot scale, and compare the results with those of the "paper" review
- Develop a financial model for the feedstocks and applications of interest

There are also international political and geo-economic situations any potential global organization faces. However, the Paris Accords and many regional environmental programs are big areas of momentum that helps our technology as well as the entire cleantech marketplace. We also believe the opportunities in a region alone will be economically and environmentally lucrative.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

We have participated in:

The Cleantech Open as a Midwest region finalist (2016)
The Minnesota Cup as a 3-time semi-finalist (2016-18)
gener8tor's gBETA program in Minneapolis (2018)
Creative Destruction Labs (CDL)-Rockies in Calgary (Energy practice) (2020)
WERCBench Labs-Milwaukee (2021)

Won the competition and other awards

Named a Finalist with the Innovation Gateway Program, a judged competitive program held by Cummins at their corporate headquarters (Columbus, Indiana 2019).

Invention/Patent

2 Patents

US 8,349,289 REACTIVE FLASH VOLATILIZATION OF FLUID FUELS
US 8,790,546 SOLID FUEL VOLATILIZATION TO PRODUCE SYNTHESIS GAS

Photos

Photo 1 - Solving waste problems with new clean energy solutions

Product Video

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Photos
Product Video