Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom
Member Since 2023
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Nellie Technologies

About my Start-up

Climate change is the single biggest issue facing the world today.

As a result, policy and societal changes are being made globally to address this challenge and businesses of all sizes are increasingly required to mitigate the effects of their operations on climate change, including managing and reducing their CO2 emissions.

This created new Emissions Trading Schemes (ETS) where companies are tasked with lowering their carbon emissions in order to meet these new requirements. However, this created a gap in the market between a demand for proven solutions and cost effective, efficient technologies. We address this gap in the market by offering an affordable, efficient, and effective solution to carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS).

Nellie is a modular and scalable, organic CCUS system that utilises a microalgae photobioreactor (PBR) and proprietary processing and storage technology.

Nellie’s carbon capture system is a hybrid Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) product. We both create organic biomass using our capture technology and extract the carbon dioxide from it through our processing steps. This unique approach enables us to permanently sequester carbon dioxide and recycle it into products to be used as animal feed, fuel, and fertiliser.

At the heart of our technology sits our microalgae PBR. It is the driving force of our technology. The PBR captures and sequesters the carbon and turns it into an organic biomass. It is an efficient method of capturing carbon dioxide that utilises the natural growth cycle of microalgae.

Once processed, the resulting product can be stored permanently underground or incorporated into a number of different industries such as construction and agriculture. The storage methods ensure both additionally and permanence in excess of 1000 years.

Nellie’s technology addresses the climate crisis by offering a permanent carbon removal from the atmosphere and stores it permanentl

Why your idea is a “winner"?:

Our current prototype shows projected capabilities for our technology to be fully scalable and modular, meaning our units integrate with each other efficiently to meet stakeholder needs. These capabilities are key features that differentiates us.

Our modularity maximises our carbon capture potential within a small physical footprint, as does the high photosynthetic rate and nutrient density of our microalgae. This means we capture the most carbon possible within a small physical area, enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our solution while also minimising the environmental impact of our operations. This provides benefits beyond our competitors capabilities.

Our microalgae photobioreactor utilises two pieces of proprietary technology to increase the growth rate of our algae: custom sustainable additives profiles, and an electromechanical and luminescence process. This means our PBR offers a more efficient growth mechanism than the state of the art and allows the system to offer commercially viable carbon capture at a commercial scale.

We offer permanent carbon storage underground while also having innovative methods for repurposing the captured carbon as organic feedstock, fuel, and fertiliser. This circular approach minimises waste, maximises resources, and delivers co-benefits and value for us and our customers, further differentiating us from others in the market.

What is your current or intended business/revenue model?:

For our carbon farming revenue stream, we will conduct carbon capture at our own carbon farms and sell our Carbon Dioxide Removal Certificates (CORCs) to organisations operating in the voluntary or compulsory ETS. We will be conducting offsite carbon capture and selling our CORCs to organisations as proof their carbon emissions are being offset.

This market already operates on Advanced Purchase Agreements (APAs) whereby the buyer pays an amount in advance for a CORC with the balance paid on delivery of the CORC. Buyers either purchase directly from us (a channel scoped in our market validation with several large-volume purchasers) or via a third party platform, such as Path or Puro.Earth.

Through PSC, we will be deploying our technology to industrial partners estates for a specified cost. Here we will capture and sequester carbon at their estates where carbon is captured at the source.

By operating our business model in this format, we are able to address the need to lower carbon emissions both through DAC and PSC. This allows us to meet the needs of stakeholders by offering a flexible solution to carbon capture that is both cost-effective and affordable.

Do you have any Patent or IP registered (related to the solution that you are looking for an investment)?:

We have a patent-pending additive profile and mechanical growth enhancer.

Has your technology already been implemented in any field/sector?:

Yes it has been tested, as part of an accelerator program in spring 2022 we built a mini-prototype of our solution and are operating at TRL 4/ 5. We also tested novel additive profiles for our PBR and January 2023, and identified a profile which will increase our carbon capture rate over the state of the art. These developments are currently patent pending and will push our solution beyond the state of the art.

Which market and customer need(s)/problem(s) is (are) your products(s)/service(s) going to solve?:

UK Government's CCUS Roadmap recognises that direct air capture (DAC) and point source capture (PSC) both have a significant role to play in a blended approach to addressing climate change. The customers for our technology are organisations that are currently (or will soon be) required to participate in these emissions trading schemes (ETS). Our product directly addresses these organisation's needs for emissions mitigation technologies either via compulsory ETS or voluntary Environmental Social Governance (ESG) participation.

Therefore, our customers are businesses within (ETS) that are being tasked with lowering their carbon emissions, and our market is the nascent CCUS market.

This market is two-fold with customers buying direct air capture (DAC) and point source capture (PSC) technology.

Customers in the DAC market either buy credits from carbon capture providers, or they will use a third-party carbon crediting business, such as Patch or Puro.Earth. The main customers in this market are businesses who are required to lower their carbon footprint to either meet legal requirements or to improve their ESG scores.

In the PSC market, carbon capture is committed at the customer’s industrial sites. Industrial suppliers such as steel producers and concrete manufacturers are the main customers within this portion of the market.

Additionally, because the byproduct of our technology can be recycled into other products such as biochar, biofuel, and fertiliser, the customers we would be looking to serve are in the agricultural, industrial, and farming industries.

Team members
Stephen Milburn Founder

Stephen is a physicist by training and a software engineer and project manager by trade. With over ten years of experience leading a team of nine to deliver complex industrial products to a range of clients across multiple sectors, Stephen has successfully executed projects in industrial utilities hardware and software.

Andrew Wilkerson Commercial Engagement Manager

Andrew has worked for several years in industrial liaison and marketing and liaises with our
industrial and academic stakeholders. Andrew has already generated partnerships with potential demonstrator sites and has been instrumental in creating a consortium of aligned cleantech businesses in the UK and Europe to advance the development of Nellie.

Ally Sheller Monitoring and Reporting Manager

Ally has three years of experience in the field of biotechnology and climate change
research, and manages the schematics and build of our monitoring and reporting software stack as well as collating the inbound data from the installation.

Trl
TRL 4 – technology validated in lab
Candidate Overview
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