In partnership with Venture Metals +, Baker Hughes has saved over 125 million pounds of scrap metals from more than 50 of the company's locations around the world. Photo via

For three years, Baker Hughes has been working with a full-scale scrap processor partner to divert scrap metal waste from landfills as a part of the company's net-zero commitment by 2050.

In partnership with Venture Metals +, Baker Hughes has saved over 125 million pounds of scrap metals from more than 50 of the company's locations around the world.

Venture Metals + collects, recycles, and manages the full recycling process of scrap materials, providing recycling, reclamation, and investment recovery as a service to industrial, manufacturing, and service facilities.

“The relationship that has been formed between Baker Hughes and Venture Metals is the definition of a true partnership. Over the many years we have collaborated on significant projects and there has been a foundation of trust, transparency and investment on both sides,” Venture Metals’ Vice-Chairman of the Board Mark Chazanow says in a news release. “Together, we have been able to do our part to improve the environment by circular and sustainable recycling while also capturing substantial revenue gain. We look forward to growing the partnership and seeing a bright future ahead together.”

According to the release, Baker Hughes plans to grow the partnership to introduce similar programs at five key locations around the world. Venture Metals+ also set up Baker Hughes with customized containers to help separate titanium, stainless steel, Inconel, and other recyclable metals.

“Reducing our environmental footprint is a critical focus area for our sustainability strategy as we continue to reduce waste, minimize the resources we use and promote circularity,” Allyson Anderson Book, chief sustainability officer at Baker Hughes, adds. “Through partners like Venture Metals +, we are minimizing waste and reusing scrap materials as much as possible for more sustainable operations.”

Solarcycle's first facility is in Texas. It's next is headed for outside of Atlanta. Photo via

Company with Texas solar panel recycling plant plans next facility out of state


A company that recycles solar panels announced Thursday that it would build a $344 million factory in northwest Georgia, for the first time expanding to making new glass for panels.

Arizona-based Solarcycle, which was founded in 2022 and opened its first recycling facility in Odessa, Texas, said it would hire more than 600 workers in Cedartown, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Atlanta, for a factory opening in 2026. Earlier this month, the company opened a headquarters, research lab and second recycling facility in Mesa, Arizona, hiring more than 100 people.

Solarcycle says its automated recycling process can extract materials worth 95% of a solar panel's value, including silver, silicon, copper and aluminum. Solarcycle said would be able to recycle 1 million solar panels in Cedartown. Then it plans to make enough glass to make solar panels that could produce 5 gigawatts a year of electricity, using a combination of recycled glass and raw material. Solarcycle said it would sell the glass to companies that make solar panels in the United States.

Last week, South Korean-owned Qcells, which makes solar panels in nearby Dalton, said it had contracted with Solarcycle to recycle decommissioned Qcells panels in the United States. Solarcycle said it has similar contracts with more than 40 other solar energy companies.

The company chose Cedartown to be close to domestic solar panel makers, spokesperson Brooke Havlik said, saying the location offers rail and shipping infrastructure and workers.

Solarcycle has raised tens of millions of dollars from private investors for expansion, and Havlik said the Cedartown factory would largely be funded through private investment.

The company has also received $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund research and development, and Havlik said the companies that buy Solarcycle’s glass are expanding, “largely driven by incentives and tailwinds” created by Biden administration actions.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock credited President Joe Biden’s clean energy and healthcare law, the Inflation Reduction Act, with spurring Solarcycle’s investment, saying Georgians continue “to reap its benefits.”

Gov. Brian Kemp, though, has argued that Georgia's business environment deserves credit for attacting companies like Solarcycle and Qcells. Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said the company approached state economic recruiters at a trade show.

“Solarcycle provides a critical piece to the integrated solar supply chain we are building in Georgia,” Wilson said in a statement.

Solarcycle didn’t say how much workers will make, only describing pay and benefits as “competitive.”

The company could qualify for $9 million in state income tax credits, at $3,000 per job over five years, as long as workers make at least $31,300 a year. The company will also receive property tax breaks from Cedartown and Polk County, said Chris Thomas, the president and CEO of the Development Authority of Polk County, but he did not provide an estimate. Solarcycle said Georgia will also pay to train workers.

David Hudson has been named CEO of Elemental Recycling. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston recycling company names new CEO

mover and shaker

A Houston company that turns recycled plastics into high-purity graphene and hydrogen has named its new leader.

David Hudson has been named CEO of Elemental Recycling. The company, founded in 2019, is an investment of Freestone, a portfolio company of Tailwater Capital. He succeeds Tom Samuels, former CEO and board chair of the company.

"With over two decades of proven expertise in driving strategic growth and profitability across the recycling, waste management, sustainability, and decarbonization sectors, David brings a wealth of experience that makes him the ideal leader to take the reins and guide Elemental into its next phase of innovation and growth," Samuels says in a news release. "I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for the company under David's leadership. His proven track record and passion for driving positive change make him the perfect steward for the next chapter of Elemental's journey."

Hudson has over 20 years of experience within sustainability across industries. He founded and led Circulus Holdings, a company that turned post-consumer plastics into resins for commercial and industrial use. In that role, he raised almost half a billion dollars in investments, per the news release. He also held leadership roles at Ara Partners, Avangard Innovative, Recology, and Strategic Materials.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to join this exceptional team and contribute to the continued success of Elemental," Hudson says in the release. "Tom's leadership, along with the vision of founders Ron Presswood and Ian Bishop, has positioned the company to become a driving force in the recycling, sustainability, decarbonization, and advanced materials sectors.

"Elemental boasts an exceptional team, and I am eager to collaborate with each member as we navigate the path ahead," he continues. "I am confident that, together, we will grow the Company into a major player in the graphene and hydrogen production spaces and continue to advance Elemental's mission of sustainability."

Now that it's less merry and bright, do the right thing and recycle your tree with the city of Houston. Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

City of Houston provides 24 recycle stations for Christmas tree drop off

calling all evergreens

The holidays have come and gone, and the city of Houston is asking for you to recycle your Christmas trees.

But what to do with that live tree after the holidays celebrations are over? Tradition dictates that revelers can leave their yuletide tree up though January 6, 2023. But afterwards, dumping it with the front-yard trash is unceremonious and disrespectful. Better to recycle holiday tree — especially at one of the city's tree recycling centers that are now open.

The city of Houston's Solid Waste Management Department has opened 24 residential tree drop-off recycling locations throughout the area. Locals can take their live trees to one of these centers across the city, where they will be repurposed for mulch or other landscape materials.

This tree recycling program is part of the city of Houston for the 33rd annual tree mulching event.

Before depositing the tree or trees, be sure to remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands, and other non-organic decorative materials. Importantly, artificial, flocked, or painted trees will not be accepted. Residents have until January 26, 2024 to donate holiday trees.

Below is a list of Christmas tree recycling locations, per ABC13 and the city of Houston.

Open daily 9 am to 6 pm

  • Memorial Park at the Softball Parking Lot: 6402 Arnot St.
  • T.C. Jester Park: 4200 T.C. Jester West
  • Ellington Airport Recycling: Hwy 3 & Brantley Road
  • Kingwood (Branch Library): Bens View Lane at Bens Branch Drive
  • Doss Park (gates close at 5 pm): 2500 Frick Rd.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm

  • Central Neighborhood Depository: 2240 Central St.
  • Kirkpatrick Neighborhood Depository: 5565 Kirkpatrick
  • Sommermeyer Neighborhood Depository: 14400 Sommermeyer
  • N. Main Neighborhood Depository: 9003 North Main
  • Southwest Neighborhood Depository: 10785 Southwest Freeway
  • Sunbeam Neighborhood Depository: 5100 Sunbeam

Open Monday - Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm; closed Monday, Jan. 15, 2024

  • Westpark Consumer Recycling Center: 5900 Westpark

Open Monday to Friday 7 am to 5 pm and Saturday 7 am to noon; closed Monday, January 1, 2024

  • Living Earth: 5802 Crawford Rd.
  • Living Earth: 1503 Industrial Drive, Missouri City
  • Living Earth: 1700 E Highway 90Alt, Richmond
  • Living Earth: 12202 Cutten Rd.
  • Living Earth: 16138 Highway 6, Iowa Colony
  • Living Earth: 5210 S. Sam Houston Parkway E.
  • Living Earth: 27733 Katy Freeway, Katy
  • Living Earth: 10310 Beaumont Highway
  • Living Earth: 17555 I-45 South, Conroe
  • Living Earth: 20611 U.S. 59, New Caney
  • Living Earth: 9306 FM 523 Freeport


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Looks like green really is the new black in a city that’s known for being all blue. Photo courtesy of Zach Tarrant,

Another Houston sports team commits to fighting climate change


The Houston Texans rocked the football world in early May with their historic back-to-back first-round all-star offense/defense NFL draft picks, but that’s not the only groundbreaking news they had planned this month. In partnership with 1PointFive, the Texans’ Preferred Carbon Removal Partner, the team announced the Touchdown for Trees program to recapture carbon emissions – and the hearts of fans.

“As part of our partnership with 1PointFive, we kicked off our Touchdown for Trees initiative last week at Hermann Park Conservancy,” Houston Texans Senior Vice President of Partnerships Jerry Angel tells EnergyCapitalHTX. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work together to make a difference across our community during the 2023 Season.”

For every touchdown scored by the Texans in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 seasons, the team pledges to plant 1.5 trees in the greater Houston area. To kick off the initiative, Houston Texans staff and cheerleaders gathered in Hermann Park Conservancy on May 11 to plant 25 inaugural trees. The group also removed invasive species from the area to eliminate competition for the newly planted trees and restore native habitat conditions.

Planting trees to fight climate change has gathered significant momentum in recent years, as each individual tree can offset approximately 22 pounds of carbon emissions per year over its first 20 years of life, according to conservative calculations from The One Trillion Tree Initiative, announced at the 2020 World Economic Forum in January 2023, could effectively reduce carbon emissions by 20% year-over-year for the next two decades through reforestation efforts.

Like other carbon capture solutions, reforestation must be pursued with proper planning and care, so as not to waste time nor resources. But many tout reforestation as the simplest way to reduce carbon emissions and meet all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously.

With this commitment to reforestation, the Houston Texans join the Astros, Rockets, Dash, and Dynamo in a collective effort to fight climate change. Earlier this spring, the Houston Astros partnered with 1PointFive in an agreement to purchase carbon dioxide removal credits from the new Direct Air Capture facility near Odessa in Ector County, TX.

Like the Texans, the soccer teams of Houston are donating trees for each victory achieved this calendar year. In partnership with Shell Energy, the Dynamo and Dash have already committed to 1,750 new trees from their 5 aggregate wins this spring.

Additionally, each of the homes of these Houston teams follows in the footsteps of Houston’s original green arena, the Toyota Center. One of 10 Green NBA arenas to earn LEED certification, the home of the Houston Rockets boasts energy efficient lighting, electric submeters, and an abundance of trees and vegetation in an urban setting to reduce greenhouse gases by over 3,000 tons annually.

Shell Energy is giving the home of the Dynamo and Dash a decarbonization facelift this year, with energy efficient LED-lighting throughout, installation of EV charging stations, and the use of on-site renewable energy generation systems.

Similar efforts continue to roll out at Minute Maid Park and NRG Stadium, including food sustainability programs, dedicated recycling for aluminum, plastic, and cardboard, and complete conversion to more efficient lighting solutions on the field, in the bathrooms, and even out in the parking lots.

Whether rooting for the home team or cheering on the visitors, fans that attend Houston events at these stadiums and arenas benefit from the knowledge and experience of local talent stewarding such energy transition initiatives. Maybe it’s time to bring back the historic chant of the Oilers, with a modern twist, “go blue–and green!”

A national research institute recently opened a new lab and outpost adjacent to the University of Houston's campus. Photo via

New research lab opens in University of Houston's tech transfer facility

seeing green

A national organization has opened a new Houston outpost at a local university campus.

The Electrochemical Safety Research Institute, or ESRI, of UL Research Institutes opened the doors to a new laboratory in Houston in November. The new space was established to further research renewable energy technologies.

“As the world transitions from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, we are working with research teams across several organizations to lay the scientific groundwork for safe and reliable energy storage alternatives,” says Judy Jeevarajan, ESRI’s executive director, in a news release. “Since several of our research partners are based in Houston, the natural progression was to open our own laboratory in the area.”

The lab is housed in the University of Houston Technology Bridge, a startup park next to the university’s main campus. A team of ESRI’s research scientists will have access to explore the safety and performance of renewable energy technologies. Per the release, ESRI already has ongoing projects with UH within hydrogen research, solid-state batteries, and the synthesis of magnesium-ion separators.

“We are significantly expanding both our capacity and scope to better meet today’s increasingly urgent safety challenges,” says Christopher J. Cramer, ULRI’s chief research officer. “Our new Houston facility is one element of that expansion. The lab will strengthen the synergies between ESRI and our research partners in the area and accelerate scientific discoveries to help create a safer, more sustainable world.”

The facility will also act as a homebase for all Houston-area collaborations. Per the release, the new lab "will also facilitate ESRI’s research partnership with Rice University on lithium-ion cell recycling and the research institute’s work with NASA’s Johnson Space Center on thermal runaway mitigation and micro-USB lithium-ion battery safety." The organization also collaborates with Houston-based Stress Engineering Services Inc.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Electrochemical Safety Research Institute to its new home in Houston,” says Chris Taylor, executive director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation at the University of Houston, in the release. “Together, we can build upon our research culture of collaboration as we pursue innovations for the greater good.”


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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Chevron, TotalEnergies back energy storage startup's $15.8M series A

money moves

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.

Houston innovation leaders secure SBA funding to start equitability-focused energy lab

trying for DEI

A group of Houston's innovation and energy leaders teamed up to establish an initiative supporting equitability in the energy transition.

Impact Hub Houston, a nonprofit incubator and ecosystem builder, partnered with Energy Tech Nexus to establish the Equitable Energy Transition Alliance and Lab to accelerate startup pilots for underserved communities. The initiative announced that it's won the 2024 U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, or GAFC, Stage One award.

"We are incredibly honored to be recognized by the SBA alongside our esteemed partners at Energy Tech Nexus," Grace Rodriguez, co-founder and executive director of Impact Hub Houston, says in a news release. "This award validates our shared commitment to building a robust innovation ecosystem in Houston, especially for solutions that advance the Sustainable Development Goals at the critical intersections of industry, innovation, sustainability, and reducing inequality."

The GAFC award, which honors and supports small business research and development, provides $50,000 prize to its winners. The Houston collaboration aligns with the program's theme area of Sustainability and Biotechnology.

“This award offers us a great opportunity to amplify the innovations of Houston’s clean energy and decarbonization pioneers,” adds Juliana Garaizar, founding partner of the Energy Tech Nexus. “By combining Impact Hub Houston’s entrepreneurial resources with Energy Tech Nexus’ deep industry expertise, we can create a truly transformative force for positive change.”

Per the release, Impact Hub Houston and Energy Tech Nexus will use the funding to recruit new partners, strengthen existing alliances, and host impactful events and programs to help sustainable startups access pilots, contracts, and capital to grow.

"SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One winners join the SBA’s incredible network of entrepreneurial support organizations contributing to America’s innovative startup ecosystem, ensuring the next generation of science and technology-based innovations scale into thriving businesses," says U.S. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman.


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

Texas-based Tesla gets China's initial approval of self-driving software

global greenlight

Shares of Tesla stock rallied Monday after the electric vehicle maker's CEO, Elon Musk, paid a surprise visit to Beijing over the weekend and reportedly won tentative approval for its driving software.

Musk met with a senior government official in the Chinese capital Sunday, just as the nation’s carmakers are showing off their latest electric vehicle models at the Beijing auto show.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Chinese officials told Tesla that Beijing has tentatively approved the automaker's plan to launch its “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, software feature in the country.

Although it's called FSD, the software still requires human supervision. On Friday the U.S. government’s auto safety agency said it is investigating whether last year’s recall of Tesla’s Autopilot driving system did enough to make sure drivers pay attention to the road. Tesla has reported 20 more crashes involving Autopilot since the recall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In afternoon trading, shares in Tesla Inc., which is based in Austin, Texas, surged to end Monday up more than 15% — its biggest one-day jump since February 2020. For the year to date, shares are still down 22%.

Tesla has been contending with its stock slide and slowing production. Last week, the company said its first-quarter net income plunged by more than half, but it touted a newer, cheaper car and a fully autonomous robotaxi as catalysts for future growth.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the news about the Chinese approval a “home run” for Tesla and maintained his “Outperform” rating on the stock.

“We note Tesla has stored all data collected by its Chinese fleet in Shanghai since 2021 as required by regulators in Beijing,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “If Musk is able to obtain approval from Beijing to transfer data collected in China abroad this would be pivotal around the acceleration of training its algorithms for its autonomous technology globally.”