Furthering sustainability objectives through investment
A significant number of Clean Technology and other sustainability driven companies have emerged from Imperial Innovations. This is consistent with the College's broader commitment to researching and developing technology that can successfully combat the issues raised through climate change.
Plaxica - a company developing a new generation of polymers derived from sustainable resources. Plaxica’s polymers are a range of polylactic acid (PLA) based materials which have improved physical properties compared with first generation biopolymers, a smaller environmental footprint, are fully recyclable and cost competitive with current oil-based alternatives. A wide variety of technologies are being developed to produce lower cost sugars from non-food crops and agricultural & forestry waste, which increases the positive environmental impact of the product. The novel chemistry underpinning this technology came from the laboratories of Professor Vernon Gibson FRS and Dr Ed Marshall at Imperial College London. These second generation PLA polymers are aimed at the replacement of conventional oil-derived products like PET, polypropylene and polystyrene.
Nexeon - a battery materials and licensing company with a unique silicon anode technology. Nexeon's technology unlocks the potential of silicon to deliver increased capacity without compromising lithium-ion battery cycle life, providing lighter batteries with more power and longer lifetime between charges. Nexeon is set to make a major contribution in shaping the future of rechargeable batteries.
Econic Technologies develop novel catalyst technologies for the manufacturing of polymers from CO2. Almost all materials used by the polymer industry are derived from fossil resources such as petroleum. Approximately 7-8% of the extracted oil/gas are used in polymer manufacturing today. Using Econic’s catalysts polymer producers can replace non-renewable petrochemical raw materials with CO2. In polyol manufacture, for each tonne of CO2 utilised in the polymer a further two tonnes of CO2 is saved in avoided petrochemical feedstock manufacture.
With Econic’s catalysts, 30% to 50% of petrochemical feedstock can be replaced with this waste gas. Furthermore, the catalysts are water tolerant, which means that waste CO2 streams could be used.
In addition, the College continues to be a strong supporter of Ceres Power following its successful transition from a spin-out company within the Imperial Innovations portfolio to a listed public company. Ceres Power is a high growth product development company founded in 2001 to commercially exploit revolutionary fuel cell technology originally developed within Imperial College during the preceding 10 years. The company combines significant industrial experience involving the commercialisation of high technology with world class research and development expertise.