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Fuels and Chemicals


Wellington, New Zealand



Franck Natali

Franck joins the Breakthrough Energy Innovator Fellows program from Wellington, New Zealand. With his colleagues, Franck is revolutionizing the ammonia production process, making it cleaner, cheaper, and scalable enough to decarbonize heavy industries, including shipping, aviation, heat and power generation, and chemical production.

Liquium has developed a cost-effective technology to create ammonia at low temperatures and in normal atmospheric conditions, significantly reducing carbon emissions and paving the way for localized, small-scale green ammonia production. Liquium will lower the barriers to entry for producing clean ammonia by creating smaller, decentralized plants that are more economically feasible and have a stronger alignment with renewable energy generation projects.

While Liquium is based in New Zealand, Franck was raised in the magnificent vineyards of Bordeaux, France. Currently he serves as Associate Professor in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. As a father of two bambinos, he enjoys getting out on the slopes or into the surf with his family. Franck holds a Bachelor of Science from Université de Bordeaux, a Master of Science from Université de Bordeaux, and a PhD from Université Nice Sophia Antipolis.


What problem are you solving for? What are the practical applications of this work?
We aim to solve two problems. First, to make ammonia production greener and more energy efficient. And second, to decarbonize maritime fuel transport. We aim to do both by using ammonia as a fuel.

What was the most impactful book you’ve read?
“The Alchemist,” by Pablo Coelho.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
From Corneille’s play, Le Cid: “À vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.” In English, we would say, “No pain, no gain” or “No guts, no glory.”