Biologically Derived Energy Storage Materials

  • Anode
  • Cathode
  • Storage
  • Energy storage
  • Affordability
  • B2B

Submitted by

Emergy Labs

Published 04 Feb 2017

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Biologically Derived Energy Storage Materials

Emergy is an early stage startup developing an environmentally friendly and versatile patent pending manufacturing process to produce advanced porous carbon materials for the energy storage, filtration, carbon capture and other cleantech applications. Unlike conventional methods that use harvested biomass, coal, or expensive polymers and requiring resource intensive top-down production processes, Emergy utilizes an extremely efficiency and controlled bottom up biological process to sustainably produce low cost advanced carbon materials with higher efficiency and better product control than the competition. Taking a bottom up approach not only saves capital and operation costs, energy, and resources, it also allows for tailored properties from the onset, customized for each application, ultimately resulting in high performance and added value to the customer.

How it benefits society

Exponential global population growth couple with increase in the standard of living, continues to put unsustainable strain on the environment as we extract more and more resources. If society is to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship with the planet, it must develop ways to manufacture products with a net positive impact. Emergy is developing an innovative manufacturing process that utilizes the biomechanics of a growing organism to self assemble into a template that can be thermally converted to energy storage materials, (additive or free standing electrode). Given the robust nature of the selected organism, Emergy can cultivate the template in various waste streams, including brewery wastewater. This process has several benefits to society that include the cleaning and utilization of a waste-stream and the production of both a high value material and clean water. All of this can be done in a carbon negative processes as liquid organic contaminants are converted to solid carbon materials in which it will remain until recycled.

Who we are


Emergy Labs
Tyler Huggins, Justin Whiteley, Jason Ren
Chicago, IL

Growing up in rural Montana, where the primary income is from either mining or logging, I am intimately aware of our societies relationship with the environment. I recognized that this relationship was only benefiting society and would not last forever. I have since dedicated my life to developing ways to beneficially interact with nature while increasing the standard of living for all global citizens. My undergraduate degree was in field biology were I studied the impact of human development on natural systems. After several years of observation I decided I wanted to do something about it. I started my first business in 2007, a land remediation company which I ran successfully for 3 years. However, I still did not have the large impact that I desired. I then went back to graduate school to study sustainability engineering and environmental engineering in which I got my PhD. During my graduate studies I learned how to turn my biology background into designed systems that would help to mediate the impact of human development and in turn result in a net positive outcome for the environment. This includes the most recent technology development of using biological systems to produce templates for carbon materials. However, I did not develop this technology in a vacuum. During the last year of my dissertation I partnered with my now co-founder to refine the technology and produce materials that are superior to conventional options. My co-founder, Justin Whiteley, is a material scientist that has spent the last four years of graduate school developing next generation energy storage materials. Justin shares my passion for sustainability and has been invaluable in refining our technology and mission as a company.

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