This spotlight is part of a series from MIT ClimateX about Climate CoLab 2018 contest Winners. Original post can also be found here: https://climatex.mit.edu/climate-colab-winners-spotlight-nils-methling-alexia-teren.
Nils Methling and Aléxia Teren of Gensoric have proposed an inovative home energy system that recycles atmospheric CO2into methanol. Their winning Climate CoLab proposal, which was submitted to the Buildings 2018 contest, involves the establishment of decentralized energy systems. As an example, the produced methnaol can be used for fueling cars or heating buildings and allows sustainable energy systems for homeowners. They are proposing their so called “willpower energy®“-system that enables residents to produce fuel by using surrounding resources such as CO2 and water. Methling describes it as “a system for decentralized CO2usage and energy generation, so that Europe can become independent of fossil fuel derived energy and turn into a CO2 neutral economy.” Gensoric emphasizes climate change mitigation, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and scalability in the system design.
The core of this energy recycling system is a patent-protected electro-biocatalytical process technology, that has the capacity to convert atmospheric CO2 into liquid methanol. The methanol is efficient and effective: it can be easily stored, burnt, or used for electrical energy. In fact, the technology can supply a single-family home with heating and hot water. Gensoric’s focus on residential operating systems allows a decentralized and flexible energy storage network. The first successful, full-scale prototype of this technology was set up in mid-2017.
Gensoric is looking to expand use and, adapt to the commercial market for specific homes. Methling comments, “We already have quite a few interested parties. Architectural firms, for example, want to use our revolutionary technology in entire neighborhoods.” Gensoric estimates that this technology can be utilized by 8 million German customers, and are also doing outreach in other regions of Western Europe, with a wide scale launch planned for 2020.
Methling, Teren and their team are excited about the Climate Colab win, and advise other innovators to submit proposals. He comments, “We can only encourage all small and medium-sized businesses with innovative and promising ideas to participate in this great competition. Climate CoLab presents you with a good opportunity to attract an expert audience, to make helpful contacts, and at the same time, get a qualified assessment of the potential of your idea.”