Our Growing Team

October 22, 2020


We are well into the second month (surpassing the 30-day runtime milestone) of our pilot installation in Gillette, Wyoming for the Carbon Xprize Finals.

Our reactor temperature and gas flow controls and the solar concentrator, are working flawlessly.

Water vapor was an issue in the system but Adrienne, Mihir, and Bolagi solved the problem by plumbing secondary water collection without any operations time loss. They’ve totally got this!

We would be nothing without our excellent team so I am circling back to give you a brief introduction to everyone who is making it happen in Ithaca, Wyoming and, soon, Arizona!


Our newest hire, Adrienne is of a new generation of mission-driven engineers committed to working on real solutions to the climate crisis. Throughout the pre-commissioning phase of our pilot reactor she worked alongside our senior staff to learn all that cannot be taught in a classroom. We’re so excited to see her grow into her role and lead the way on the road ahead.


Bolaji is another of our newest team members, brought on to commission and run our Carbon Xprize pilot. He is a talented chemical engineer, originally from Nigeria. His last several years have been spent as a process engineer in West Virginia. He is currently working on a model in ASPEN (a software program) with our current data. 


Mihir was our first full-time hire. He has been modeling our technology for almost three years now. From 100,000 ton-per-year technoeconomic studies to 50 ml test reactor kinetics, Mihir has helped anchor our hypotheses with solid models time and time again.He recently helped guide the development of the code for our software which automates our process. Currently, he’s on the ground in Gillette where he and the team spend all day calculating the rate at which we convert carbon dioxide to fuels. 


Brad is the head of research and development at DE. Over the course of his first year here he has led the team in advancing our core IP and filing new patents for our platform. With his help we have also been awarded two major grants – one from NYSERDA to assist with our Carbon XPrize pilot, and a Phase 1 SBIR with the US Department of Energy. Anticipate more of his great ideas, inventions, and solutions to difficult problems in years to come. 


Brian is a seasoned mechanical engineer with a heart of gold and a knack for teaching. He led our commissioning effort flawlessly, his deep knowledge of anything mechanical and electronic proving indispensable day after day. We simply would not be operating without his help. With some modeling help from Mihir, Brian and Brad are already figuring out how to design our full demonstration that will deploy in Arizona in early 2021.


Huck is a spirited electrical engineer who joined the team in the days leading up to our departure for Wyoming. During commissioning, his steady hand got us through a number of tight situations. Huck was as committed to getting the job done as I have seen anyone. Totally flawless work.


Joining us via the NSF post doc fellowship program, Ali is our new catalyst specialist, working to optimize the chemistry in our reactor and expand the breadth of products we can produce. His latest accomplishment was synthesizing the catalyst that we are now using in Wyoming. So far, 40 days in, high conversion and no signs of degradation.


Michael Newel is our newest hire. He is joining DE as our first dedicated optical engineer. He will be focusing on a major project we are just beginning, which is funded by the US Department of Energy. He is moving his family from Florida to Ithaca for the beginning of winter 2020. If that is not dedication to solving climate change with solar fuels technology, tell me what is!



That is all for now. The team is growing fast and it is a pleasure to introduce everyone to our community.

If you made this far, you are now the first to know that we are opening our next round of funding in November. Stay tuned for more details!

Live long and prosper.

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