Anders Laursen joins Breakthrough Energy’s Innovator Fellows program from RenewCO2 in Cranford, New Jersey. With expertise in electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, and nanotechnology, Anders is focused on applying his research on energy transformation to carbon utilization. At RenewCO2, Anders and his team are developing an electrocatalytic process to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbon-negative monomers, chemicals, and fuels.
The RenewCO2 team has developed a proprietary catalyst that enables a one-step, low-temperature process for converting CO2 into carbon-negative chemicals. Inspired by nature, their new technology accelerates CO2 reduction with high-selectivity and low-energy requirements. This efficient system can produce carbon-negative monomers and chemicals that are cost-competitive with conventional fossil-fuel-based products. Through the Fellows program, RenewCO2 plans to scale its technology for a pilot plant to demonstrate feasibility at a commercial scale.
Anders earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Engineering degrees in Chemistry, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics from the Technical University of Denmark. He first developed an interest in chemistry during middle school and focused his career on the intersection of electrochemistry and clean energy.
What beliefs drive you?
I believe that science is always best employed to positively impact our global society. However, we almost never know how that will come about, so we need to approach each problem and opportunity with the zeal to realize its full potential.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
An academic advisor once told me that in research you should expect your hypothesis to fail 90% of the time. The key therefore becomes how to channel the negative result into progress and innovation. In entrepreneurship, we need to leverage others’ failures as well as our own to drive technology forward faster and more efficiently—taking advantage of mentorship and keeping an open and curious mind becomes the vital tools to succeed.
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