Industrial processes are one of the hardest sectors of the economy to decarbonize. Fossil fuels have been the go-to way of powering the facilities that make paper, plastics, food, beverages, and chemicals.
Slashing greenhouse gas emissions from industry means changing the way companies produce their raw materials.
The problem: sometimes the hardest sectors to decarbonize are the ones that may not believe in climate change at all, and thus don’t feel the need to change their practices.
And that's what Shreya Dave, CEO and co-founder of Via Separations, is changing.
Shreya and the team at Via Separations are making it attractive for their customers to decarbonize by providing a cheaper alternative to an often overlooked source of emissions: chemical separations and purification.
The traditional way of separating desirable materials is very resource-intensive. Shreya likens the whole process to separating pasta from water in a pot. The water, which is the waste product, is boiled off using heat from fossil fuels to get to just the cooked pasta, or the desirable material, at the bottom of the pot.
Via Separations is changing the way separations are done by developing and deploying filtration systems that act like a pasta strainer, filtering out the waste product using less energy and producing less emissions.
The energy savings can't be understated. Chemical separations and purification make up a whopping 12 percent of the country's yearly energy consumption. That's on par with all the energy used in gasoline powered cars and trucks in the U.S. every year.
Emily spoke with Shreya about the work needed to scale the tech, the importance of speaking to customers about their needs, and the industries Via Separations is going after first.
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