cleaner chemicals

Houston-based sustainable chemicals company secures major partnership with Sasol

Solugen and Sasol have entered into a strategic partnership. Photo via Solugen

A Houston company that's creating cleaner chemicals with little to no impact on the environment has scored a partnership with a major chemicals producer.

Solugen and Sasol Chemicals, a business unit of Saslo Ltd., revealed that they are working together to explore commercialization of sustainably-made home and personal care products.

“This agreement is an example of our approach of partnering to find innovative solutions for our customers,” Jonathan Ward, senior manager of Strategy and Sustainable Growth for Sasol’s Essential Care Chemicals business division, says in a news release. “Our focus is delivering high-performing products with lower carbon footprints at competitive prices, and we are eager to see how Solugen’s products might help us do that.”

Founded in 2016 by Sean Hunt and Gaurab Chakrabarti, Solugen's carbon-negative molecule factory, named the Bioforge, uses a chemienzymatic process in converting plant-sourced substances into essential materials that can be used instead of fossil fuels. The manufacturing process is carbon neutral, and Solugen has raised over $600 million from investors that believe in the technology's potential.

"We are thrilled to partner with Sasol Chemicals, one of the world’s largest producers of surfactants, to drive positive impact in the home and personal care market,” Chakrabarti, CEO of Solugen, says in the release. “Sasol’s commitment to sustainability makes it an ideal partner for Solugen. We look forward to leveraging our combined strengths in technology, production, and market development to meet increasing consumer demand for our high-performance, bio-based solutions.”

Chakrabarti shared some of the secrets to Solugen's success and early partnerships at a SXSW panel earlier this year. The company was also recently named a finalist in the 2023 Houston Innovation Awards.

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A View From HETI

LiNova will use the funds to advance its polymer cathode battery technology. Photo via Getty Images

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.

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