Critical Need for this Technology
Helix Earth Technologies has developed a solid-state (no moving parts), high-efficiency, and low-energy droplet filtration method called Helix MICRA™. The company is using Helix MICRA™ to help revolutionize the way the industry does liquid-gas chemistry. Helix’s unique approach to liquid-gas chemistry is helping industries reduce costs, save energy, and reduce their environmental footprint. Helix MICRA™ will revolutionize air conditioning by helping reduce energy use by more than 50% and will revolutionize carbon dioxide capture by reducing carbon dioxide capture system sizes by 6-8x compared to existing capture processes.
Liquid-gas chemical processes are used in a multitude of industries including in carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, industrial pollution control, dehumidification, and odor control. Many of these processes are used for reducing the impact of heavy industries on our environment. Unfortunately, the rates of many of these process rates are limited by the surface area of contact between the liquid and gas. It turns out that the best way to increase surface area of contact between a liquid and a gas is to deploy that liquid in a spray of droplets. The challenge with droplets is that once they are deployed, 100% of them need to be caught to run an effective liquid-gas chemical process. Unfortunately most filtration methods today either i) are lacking in their efficiency of capture, ii) require too much energy to operate, or iii) rely on moving parts to operate and are therefore bulky and suffer from many points of failure.
Supplemental Need for this Technology
Helix Earth Technologies is building a low-energy, high-efficiency filtration method that has a multitude of potential applications across numerous industries. Its filters can help improve efficiency while reducing energy use in application spaces that include industrial mist elimination, aerosolized grease filtration in restaurants, and more.
- Existing mist elimination companies
Existing companies in the CO2 capture and sequestration industry
There are a multitude of markets that can be addressed by the Helix MICRA™ filters, both in liquid-gas chemistry and in filtration. Carbon dioxide capture and sequestration is a market that our technology can be readily applied to. The Helix MICRA™ carbon dioxide capture systems have the potential of being 6-8x smaller than existing liquid amine-based absorber columns. In addition to carbon dioxide, Helix MICRA™ filters can enable high-rate, high-efficiency dehumidification for addressing energy use in air conditioning (AC) systems. Globally, AC systems waste > 50% of their energy on latent loads, which arise from humidity. The Helix MICRA™ platform can be used to deliver retrofit dehumidifiers to the AC markets to help reduce AC energy use by more than 50%. Other potential markets in liquid-gas chemistry include industrial particle filtration and control, pollution capture from heavy industry, and odor control.
The Helix MICRA™ filters may also find use in other sectors where droplet filtration is the primary goal, and these sectors can include fog capture, include industrial mist elimination, aerosolized grease filtration in restaurants, and others.
High efficiency, low energy, solid state filtration platform for enabling high-rate liquid-gas chemical processes.
R&D Status of Project
Today Helix’s liquid-gas chemical processes are at a technology readiness level (TRL) of 4. The company has an initial lab-scale proof of concept for the carbon dioxide capturing system where they have demonstrated carbon dioxide capture in a liquid-amine spray system, which is enabled by the Helix MICRA™ filters. In addition to lab-scale demonstrations of carbon dioxide capture, Helix also has lab-scale systems for dehumidification, which can be applied to reducing latent loads on air conditioning systems.
Rawand Rasheed, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder: Rawand Rasheed holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University. He has over five years of experience at the NASA Johnson Space Center as a research fellow and life support systems engineer. He developed an innovative new filtration method for firefighting in space while working on manned spaceflight at NASA. Rasheed quickly discovered that his new filtration technology could be brought down to Earth to help save billions of dollars while helping save the planet by decarbonizing heavy industries and the built environment. His is a recipient of NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship and of a Department of Energy (DOE) Innovation in Buildings (IBUILD) fellowship.
Brad Husick, Chief Business Officer (CBO) and Co-Founder: Husick began his innovation journey in Silicon Valley after working for Apple and HP, where he co-founded three highly successful technology companies (sale, IPO, privately held $1.5B) and early-entered one company (IPO, $9B peak market cap) in his career. Husick’s interest in the environment was ignited when he worked for The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit removing plastic from the world’s oceans and rivers. He brings his extensive experience and expertise in startups, product marketing, business development, marketing, sales, industry standards, and operations to Helix Earth Technologies to help deliver commercially viable products to market that have a tangible economic and environmental impact.
Status: Lab-scale demonstration -TRL4
Primary industry: Carbon Dioxide Capture and HVAC
Category (i.e. tech keywords): Carbon dioxide, liquid amines, filtration, liquid-gas chemistry, process intensification, dehumidification, energy efficiency
Estimated annual revenue: NA
Social challenge: To decarbonize heavy industries that are resistant to change!
R&D commercial collaborator: NA