Siluria turns natural gas into gasoline
In a previous post about Cambrios, we mentioned an exciting company in the alternative energy space that was spun out of Cambrios and that uses Angel Belcher’s silver nanowire technology. Siluria’s value proposition is a technology that can convert one of the world’s most abundant natural resources, methane, into chemicals, plastics and fuels therfore bypassing the need for petroleum.
First a look at various members of the leadership team at Siluria:
- Dr. Bill Joy previously a founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems serves on the Board of Directors
- Clinton Bybee co-founder and Managing Director of Arch Venture Partners serves on the Board of Directors
- Dr. Angela Belcher the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy at MIT serves on the Board of Directors
- Edward Djerejian a former United States diplomat who served in eight Administrations is an Advisor
- R. James Woolsey former head of the CIA is an Advisor
Venture capital backing for the company includes Bright Capital, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, The Wellcome Trust, Alloy Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Lux Capital, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Presidio Ventures. Harris and Harris used to have a position in Siluria but has since exited.
According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2011, the earth has a 45-year supply of oil compared to nearly 1,000 years of natural gas. Natural gas is abundant now in the US due to the controversial practice of fracking. The technology to turn natural gas into chemicals, jet fuel, and gasoline has existed since the 1920s but requires a tremendous amount of heat energy. Siluria’s technology using unique nano structure needs much less heat and energy for this process.
In a 2010 article on OilPrice.com, Siluria co-founder Alex Tkachenko stated “…the catalyst, if applied widely to ethylene production, could cut costs to the chemical industry by tens of billions of dollars annually and reduce global carbon-dioxide emissions by over 100 million tons per year…”
Time to maturity
According to a March 2013 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the company plans to open a demonstration plant next year, although it has not yet announced a location. The company appears to be ramping up their talent pool to make this happen with 15 open positions for Financial Controller, 2 Business Development Analysts, Reactor Specialist, Instrument and Control Engineer, Senior Engineer, 2 Process Engineers, 2 Project Engineers, 2 Chemical Engineers, Senior Scientist, Computational Chemical Engineer, and a Materials Development Engineer.
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