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Meet the startup team turning wood into energy

The founding team of Renewable Carbon & Electric is trying to change how we produce energy and make products. With a recent $25,000 Innovation Fund award, the company will continue to test the wood-based carbon products they hope will help reduce the environmental problems facing the world today.

What problem is Renewable Carbon & Electric trying to solve?

Our goal is to reduce the environmental problems faced by the world due to coal power. We know that petroleum products and coal will never be completely replaced, but we think a balance can be created with more renewable resources to make humanity safer and to preserve the environment. It is our team’s belief that we can use natural resources such as wood to produce energy that has a neutral carbon footprint and that we can substitute raw materials made of wood for petroleum based materials currently used to manufacture products. Wood based products are cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and perform as good as or better than the oil based materials being used today.

How do you work with wood to do this?

We process renewable biomass through a patented calciner which de-volatizes the material, producing sufficient thermal energy to achieve the process with minimal external energy needed to perpetuate the cycle. Depending on the client needs the carbon that is left behind is manipulated for specific market requirements.

What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?

We are showing that we can take material—that would otherwise go to a landfill—and create a high-end product that will clean and benefit the environment. Hopefully we can teach the decision makers across multiple industries to rethink and ultimately design their product composition to include our process.

What is it like growing a startup in Northeast Ohio?

It’s exciting and fun. Surrounding your company with energetic like minded people can (and will) spark ideas that a single company simply cannot match. Collaboration with the myriad of stakeholders in such an ecosystem will bestow upon everyone rewards far beyond what can be gained on their own.

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

It takes patience and understanding that not everyone sees the world as you do and to come up with ways to convey your ideas clearly so that they too can share your vision. Once the vision is clearly conveyed, you have created another stakeholder.

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