What’s the name of your project?
What problem are you solving with your project?
According to McKinsey, coal accounts for 41% of global energy generation. As a result, millions of tons of coal ash are sent to landfills. This can cost a power plant operator several hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of CO2 emissions every year. Ash pollutes the environment and is transported vast distances leading to large amounts of CO2 emissions.
How does your project adequately solve this problem?
Our technology upcycles coal or biomass ash into a new material called CircuLite locally, where the ash is produced. CircuLite can be used in carbon capture, self-cooling concrete, soil improvement, water and air purification, face masks, and cleaning up oil spills. This allows power plants to lower their carbon footprint, and costs, and to create a circular economy.
What groups of people will benefit from your project?
CircuLite is the last puzzle piece to create local circular economies that involve incineration.

Reducing landfill improves the lives of local citizens. Cleaning the soil improves the output of healthy food for everyone. Rainwater is filtered by the CircuLite in the ground to become groundwater. Cleaner ground means cleaner drinking water for communities. This helps life to flourish on both land and in water.

In industry, CircuLite lowers the costs of running power plants; making energy more affordable. One CircuLite ash recycling facility employs around twelve people. Important for local industry is the circular material flow created. It reduces waste and transportation; leading to more sustainable cities. This benefits those people running the business.

Lower transportation demands mean less traffic and fewer road repairs. This benefits local governments. On the other side, it is produced with a 60% lower carbon footprint than competitor products. This means that those operating filtration services benefit from lower CO2 embodied in their services.

The list of people benefiting from our local circular economy solutions is endless.
How do you intend to generate revenue in order to become sustainable?
We provide engineering services to coal/biomass power plant operators to construct CircuLite recycling facilities on-site, at the power plants. We are also supporting our clients with ongoing advice and connecting them with customers for CircuLite.

In the future, we want to act as a commodity trader for CircuLite.
What makes your project unique or better than other projects solving this problem?
CircuLite is 10 times cheaper than Zeolite 13X and 80% as effective in carbon capture. This means it is a highly scalable solution for the world. Our small-scale testing shows promising results for carbon capture and storage in concrete. It enhances the material properties of concrete and other building materials.
What strategies will you adopt to scale the impact of your project in the future?
As an adsorbent, CircLite is sold into the SAM market of adsorbents, which is growing by 6.3% annually to US$57B in 2025.

In terms of raw material, it is estimated that annually 400M tons of coal ash alone are sent to landfills. Half of this is produced in China. One ton of ash when it is made into CircuLite is sold at US$3,000.

We have successfully completed two such projects in Japan and Taiwan; 5,000 tons per year of CircuLite from coal ash and 3,000 tons per year of CircuLite from biomass ash respectively. We have signed a feasibility study contract from Sahacogen, one of the largest power companies in Thailand, and an MoU with a company in Kazakhstan for upcycling 5,000 tons per year of coal ash, with an Australian mining company.

In the next 12 months, we are on track to signing two contracts with customers leading to US$600K in revenue per year. Once the contract is signed, it takes 2-3 years to complete a plant. In two years’ time, our carbon capture technology will be fully scaled up. This will allow plant owners to capture CO2 onsite from their own upcycled ash.
What impact does your project have on your community, region, country, or the world?
It is our vision of local circularity to upcycle ash to locally clean soil from contaminants such as NPK and pesticides. Lastly, the Savvy progam will allow me to develop the business idea and to more effectively face the challenge of global ash disposal.
What makes you the right person or team to solve this problem?
After my Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering and Management, I worked in the construction industry, where I encountered large amounts of waste that go to landfill. Passionate about the environment, I completed a Master’s degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Cambridge. This set me up to think about the worlds largest sustainability challenges.

Besides social media, press articles, competitions, and accelerators, I’m attending industry conferences that our customers attend e.g. conferences on biomass, energy, water treatment, etc.

In December, 2022, I presented at an academic conference for the first time. In January, I spoke at Energy Saxony about ash and sludge. This year, I already have a stand booked at major conferences like LEAP (Riyadh), ChangeNow (Paris), and PolluTech (Lyon).

Next, I would be writing articles for industry magazines like Biomass Insight and Fast Company.

Lastly, I have started finding partners via grant websites like EU TechBridge. This has already led to a strong connection with a major Polish energy company.
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