Halliburton has named its latest cohort. Photo via Getty Images

Seven companies from around the world have been invited to join Halliburton Labs, the company announced today.

Halliburton Labs is an incubator program that helps early-stage energy tech companies through connections, access to facilities, and more.

"We are pleased to welcome these promising energy startups and provide customized support to help them achieve their specific priorities, accelerate commercialization, and increase valuation," says Dale Winger, managing director of the program, in a news release. "Our experienced practitioners and network will help these companies use their time and capital efficiently."

The next Halliburton Labs Finalists Pitch Day, which will feature the ongoing cohort, is planned for Thursday, March 14, in New Orleans in coordination with New Orleans Entrepreneur Week and 3rd Coast Venture Summit. Applications for the program are open until Friday, February 9.

The newest additions to Halliburton Labs are as follows.

One of three Israel-based companies in the cohort, Airovation Technologies is advancing carbon capture and utilization solutions through helping hard-to-abate industries that achieve emissions reduction targets through its proprietary carbon mineralization technology. Through transforming point-source CO2 emissions into circular chemicals and building materials, Airovation is developing a scalable pathway for industrial emitters to decarbonize with multiple revenue streams.

“Industrial emitters are seeking economic ways to decarbonize,” Marat Maayan, founder and CEO at Airovation Technologies, says. “We are excited to accelerate our commercialization in the United States with Halliburton Labs, leveraging their expertise, capabilities and network."

Ayrton Energy, based in Calgary, is developing liquid organic hydrogen carrier storage technology to enable the large-scale, efficient transportation of hydrogen over extended distances without hydrogen loss and pipeline corrosion. This storage technology provides a high-density hydrogen storage medium without the need for cryogenics or high-pressure systems, which differs from the existing technology out there. This improves the safety and efficiency of hydrogen storage while enabling the use of existing fuel infrastructure for transportation, including tanks, transport trucks, and pipelines.

“Our mission is to enable hydrogen adoption by solving the key challenges in hydrogen storage and transportation,” Ayrton CEO Natasha Kostenuk says.

Cache Energy, based out of the University of Illinois Research Park, is developing a new long duration energy storage solution, which scales to interseasonal durations, through a low-cost solid fuel. Once charged, the storage material stores energy at room temperature, with near zero loss in time and can be safely stored and transported anywhere energy is needed.

“We are strong believers of leveraging existing infrastructure and expertise to fast track decarbonization goals,” Arpit Dwivedi, founder and, says CEO of Cache Energy. “We look forward to this collaboration and learning from Halliburton's manufacturing and operational expertise, as we scale our technology.”

From Be'er Sheva City in Israel, CENS develops enhanced dry dispersion technology based on dry-treated carbon nanotubes that enable high energy density, high power, and outstanding cycle performance in Li-ion batteries. The technology is differentiated because it can be applied to any type of lithim-ion battery and its implementation can be seamlessly integrated into the production line.

“Our goal is to develop ground-breaking technologies that will become disruptive technologies to market at a massive scale,” says CEO Moshe Johary. “With the help and vast experience of Halliburton Labs' team, we could achieve advancements in production capabilities while extending our footprint in the market.”

Casper, Wyoming-based Disa Technologiesprovides solutions to the mining and remediation industries. Disa utilizes patented minerals liberation technology to more efficiently isolate target minerals and mitigate environmental impacts to its users. Disa platforms treat a wide array of critical minerals that are essential to the economy and our way of life.

“We are excited to have Halliburton's support as we scale-up our technology and deliver innovative minerals processing solutions that disrupt industry best practices, enhance global resource utilization, and benefit the environment and the communities we serve," Greyson Buckingham, Disa's CEO and president, says.

Marel Power Solutions, headquartered from Michigan, is innovating electrification through its novel powerstack technology. These materials-efficient, quickly deployable, and scalable power-stacks, encapsulating advanced cooling technology, redefine power conversion in mobility, industrial, and renewables spaces.

“We're thrilled to contribute to global climate sustainability. Our collaboration with Halliburton will accelerate the electrification transition across industries. Marel's technology not only maximizes heat evacuation from densely packed power semiconductors but, more importantly, offers substantial savings in cost, weight, size, and time, making it transformative in the evolving landscape of electrification,” Marel CEO Amrit Vivekanand says.

And lastly, XtraLit is an Israeli company that develops a technology for direct lithium extraction from brines. The technology enables efficient and economically justified processing of brines even with relatively low lithium concentrations. Application of the extraction technology will allow mineral providers to unlock new significant sources of lithium that are critical to meet growing demand.

“Oil and gas industry produced waters might become a substantial resource for lithium production,” says XtraLit CEO, Simon Litsyn. “XtraLit will cooperate with Halliburton on optimization of produced water treatment for further increasing the efficiency of the lithium extraction process.”

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This article originally ran on EnergyCapital.

Here's what energy transition companies stood out to Rice Alliance's experts. Photo via Rice Alliance

10 startups named most-promising in energy tech at Houston conference

rising stars

At the 20th annual Energy Tech Venture Forum presented by Rice Alliance for technology and Entrepreneurship, 11 startups scored recognition from the event's investors who evaluated over 90 early-stage energy transition companies.

"The selection process was both exhilarating and challenging given the incredible ideas we've seen today," says Jason Sidhu, director of information services business engagement at TC Energy, who announced the top companies. "I want to extend my gratitude to every company that participate din this year's Energy Tech Venture Forum. Your commitment to solving energy problems and pursuing ambitions ideas is truly commendable."

In addition to the top 10 most-promising companies, the event's attendees decided the people's choice pick out of the 50 or so pitching companies. The winner of that recognition was Calgary, Alberta-based Galatea Technologies, which has created a tech platform to enhance workflows for operational, financial, and environmental performance.

The top companies, according to the Rice Alliance experts and investors, were:

  • Circular economy startup, Polystyvert. Based in Montreal, the company has created a unique dissolution recycling process that creates a material that can contribute to cutting carbon emissions by up to 90 percent.
  • United Kingdom-based Mirico provides a tracking technology to its customers to measure climate gases (like methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and ammonia), across areas up to half a square mile and in all conditions.
  • Protein Evolution, from New Haven, Connecticut, taps into a combination of green chemistry and enzyme technology to break down synthetic polymers.
  • Another Canadian company, Ayrton Energy, based in Calgary, created a liquid organic H2 carrier (LOHC) storage technology presents an opportunity for large, scalable and efficient transport of H2 over long distances.
  • Also representing New Haven, Connecticut, Carbon Loop is on a mission to make carbon capture and conversion scalable through carbon dioxide electrolysis using a proprietary catalyst to convert captured carbon dioxide into methanol.d
  • Based in London, Mobilus Labs has designed a new way for frontline communication with an in-helmet hardware and software solution. software solution designed for the frontline workforce.
  • 1s1 Energy, based in California, is working on producing low-cost green hydrogen by creating new materials to unlock unprecedented electrolyzer efficiency, durability, and more.
  • From Skokie, Illinois, Numat is specializing in solutions within Metal-organic framework (MOF) research to enhance the process of separating the hazardous chemicals negatively impacting human health and the environment.
  • Mantel, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, created a molten borate technology to capture CO2 in a new and efficient way.
  • The lone Houston-based company, Mars Materials is working to produce acrylonitrile using CO2 and biomass to enable decarbonization applications in carbon fiber and wastewater treatment.
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This article originally ran on EnergyCapital.

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Houston cleantech company tests ​all-electric CO2-to-fuel production technology

RESULTS ARE IN

Houston-based clean energy company Syzygy Plasmonics has successfully tested all-electric CO2-to-fuel production technology at RTI International’s facility at North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

Syzygy says the technology can significantly decarbonize transportation by converting two potent greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, into low-carbon jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline.

Equinor Ventures and Sumitomo Corp. of Americas sponsored the pilot project.

“This project showcases our ability to fight climate change by converting harmful greenhouse gases into fuel,” Trevor Best, CEO of Syzygy, says in a news release.

“At scale,” he adds, “we’re talking about significantly reducing and potentially eliminating the carbon intensity of shipping, trucking, and aviation. This is a major step toward quickly and cost effectively cutting emissions from the heavy-duty transport sector.”

At commercial scale, a typical Syzygy plant will consume nearly 200,000 tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 45,000 cars off the road.

“The results of this demonstration are encouraging and represent an important milestone in our collaboration with Syzygy,” says Sameer Parvathikar, director of renewable energy and energy storage at RTI.

In addition to the CO2-to-fuel demonstration, Syzygy's Ammonia e-Cracking™ technology has completed over 2,000 hours of performance and optimization testing at its plant in Houston. Syzygy is finalizing a site and partners for a commercial CO2-to-fuel plant.

Syzygy is working to decarbonize the chemical industry, responsible for almost 20 percent of industrial CO2 emissions, by using light instead of combustion to drive chemical reactions.

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This article originally ran on EnergyCapital.

Houston family's $20M donation drives neurodegeneration research

big impact

Neurodegeneration is one of the cruelest ways to age, but one Houston family is sharing its wealth to invigorate research with the goal of eradicating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

This month, Laurence Belfer announced that his family, led by oil tycoon Robert Belfer, had donated an additional $20 million to the Belfer Neurodegeneration Consortium, a multi-institutional initiative that targets the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

This latest sum brings the family’s donations to BNDC to $53.5 million over a little more than a decade. The Belfer family’s recent donation will be matched by institutional philanthropic efforts, meaning BNDC will actually be $40 million richer.

BNDC was formed in 2012 to help scientists gain stronger awareness of neurodegenerative disease biology and its potential treatments. It incorporates not only The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, but also Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

It is the BNDC’s lofty objective to develop five new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders over the next 10 years, with two treatments to demonstrate clinical efficacy.

“Our goal is ambitious, but having access to the vast clinical trial expertise at MD Anderson ensures our therapeutics can improve the lives of patients everywhere,” BNDC Executive Director Jim Ray says in a press release. “The key elements for success are in place: a powerful research model, a winning collaborative team and a robust translational pipeline, all in the right place at the right time.”

It may seem out of place that this research is happening at MD Anderson, but scientists are delving into the intersection between cancer and neurological disease through the hospital’s Cancer Neuroscience Program.

“Since the consortium was formed, we have made tremendous progress in our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases and in translating those findings into effective targeted drugs and diagnostics for patients,” Ray continues. “Yet, we still have more work to do. Alzheimer's disease is already the most expensive disease in the United States. As our population continues to age, addressing quality-of-life issues and other challenges of treating and living with age-associated diseases must become a priority.”

And for the magnanimous Belfer family, it already is.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

who's who

Editor's note: Every week, I introduce you to a handful of Houston innovators to know recently making headlines with news of innovative technology, investment activity, and more. This week's batch includes a podcast with the founder of a new venture firm, a former astronaut and recent award recipient, and a health care innovator with fresh funding.

Zach Ellis, founder and managing partner of South Loop Ventures

Zach Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that South Loop Ventures plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston has a lot of the right ingredients for commercialization and scaling up companies, so when Zach Ellis moved to town to stand up a venture capital firm that made investments in diverse founders, he decided to go about it in an innovative way.

South Loop Ventures, which Ellis launched two years ago, invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups across health care, climatetech, aerospace, sports, and fintech. While the first handful of investments, which have already been made, are into Houston-based companies, Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that the firm plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale.

"Any investor wants to feel like they are looking at the best possible investment opportunities in which to deploy capital," Ellis says on the show. "So that's reason No. 1 to cast your net as widely as possible.

"At the same time, you want to give any investment that you make greatest chances of success," he continues. "The biggest factor of success outside of the team and the capital you give them, is the customers that they can call upon. In bringing targeted companies to Houston or connecting them with Houston, you introduce the opportunity for them to achieve rapid scale and work with world-class partners very efficiently." Read more.


Toby R. Hamilton, founder and CEO of Hamilton Health Box

Dr. Toby Hamilton has secured $10 million to grow his company. Photo via tmc.edu

A Houston company that is working on a value-based model for primary care has fresh funding to support its mission.

Hamilton Health Box announced the completion of a $10 million series A funding round led by 1588 Ventures with participation from Memorial Hermann Health System, Impact Ventures by Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Texas Medical Center Venture Fund, and the Sullivan Brothers.

The company, founded in 2019 by Dr. Toby R. Hamilton, will use the funding to fuel its expansion into rural areas to help assist those living in Health Professional Shortage Areas, or HPSAs. Read more.

Ellen Ochoa, former astronaut and center director at the NASA's Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa was recognized for her leadership at NASA Johnson and for being the first Hispanic woman in space. Photo via NASA

Two astronauts recently received Presidential Medals of Freedom from President Joe Biden for their leadership in space.

Ellen Ochoa, the former center director and astronaut at the NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Jane Rigby, senior project scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, were honored at the White House on May 3.

Ochoa spent 30 years with NASA, which included being the 11th director of JSC, deputy center director of JSC, and director of Flight Crew Operations. She served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, and became the first Hispanic woman in space. She flew four more times to space with STS-66, STS-96, STS-110, and more.

“I’m so grateful for all my amazing NASA colleagues who shared my career journey with me,” Ochoa says in a NASA news release. Read more.