saying hello to HAL

Finnish AI solutions co. joins Houston-based clean energy accelerator

The latest energy tech startup to join Halliburton Labs is developing AI and deep learning technology. Photo courtesy of Halliburton

Finnish clean-tech company Rocsole is the latest company to join Houston-based Halliburton Labs, according to a statement the energy giant made this month.

Rocsole, which has its U.S. office in Houston, is known for its proprietary smart process imaging solutions and AI/deep learning rendered predictions that create "safer, cleaner, and more efficient operations," according to its website. The company services offshore wells and onshore tanks, pipelines and separators to reduce costs, avoid shutdowns and monitor product quality.

"With the help of Halliburton's global reach, we plan to accelerate our commercialization in major international markets," Pekka Kaunisto, CEO of Rocsole, said in a statement.

Kaunisto was named CEO of the company in April, succeeding Mika Tienhaara, who served as CEO since early 2020.

Rocsole joins several other clean energy companies to go through the Halliburton Labs accelerator, which launched in 2020 to help early-stage companies achieve commercialization milestones. The accelerator is a wholly owned subsidiary of Halliburton and provides participants with access to technical expertise, mentorships and programming.

Fellow Finnish company A-W Energy, whose technology converts ocean waves into energy, was part of a 2022 cohort.

Houston-based FuelX, England-based LiNa Energy, and Canadian company Solaires Entreprises were the most recent companies to be added to the accelerator in April 2023. Other companies to be added this year include Matrix Sensors, Renew Power Systems and SunGreenH2. The program is going on the road to host its next Halliburton Labs Finalists Pitch Day on Thursday, September 21, in Denver as a part of Denver Startup Week.

Halliburton Labs is closing applications for its next cohort on August 18. Applications are open online.

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A View From HETI

A View From UH

A Rice University professor studied the Earth's carbon cycle in the Rio Madre de Dios to shed light on current climate conditions. Photo courtesy of Mark Torres/Rice University

Carbon cycles through Earth, its inhabitants, and its atmosphere on a regular basis, but not much research has been done on that process and qualifying it — until now.

In a recent study of a river system extending from the Peruvian Andes to the Amazon floodplains, Rice University’s Mark Torres and collaborators from five institutions proved that that high rates of carbon breakdown persist from mountaintop to floodplain.

“The purpose of this research was to quantify the rate at which Earth naturally releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and find out whether this process varies across different geographic locations,” Torres says in a news release.

Torres published his findings in a study published in PNAS, explaining how they used rhenium — a silvery-gray, heavy transition metal — as a proxy for carbon. The research into the Earth’s natural, pre-anthropogenic carbon cycle stands to benefit humanity by providing valuable insight to current climate challenges.

“This research used a newly-developed technique pioneered by Robert Hilton and Mathieu Dellinger that relies on a trace element — rhenium — that’s incorporated in fossil organic matter,” Torres says. “As plankton die and sink to the bottom of the ocean, that dead carbon becomes chemically reactive in a way that adds rhenium to it.”

The research was done in the Rio Madre de Dios basin and supported by funding from a European Research Council Starting Grant, the European Union COFUND/Durham Junior Research Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation.

“I’m very excited about this tool,” Torres said. “Rice students have deployed this same method in our lab here, so now we can make this kind of measurement and apply it at other sites. In fact, as part of current research funded by the National Science Foundation, we are applying this technique in Southern California to learn how tectonics and climate influence the breakdown of fossil carbon.”

Torres also received a three-year grant from the Department of Energy to study soil for carbon storage earlier this year.

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