The ambition of the ECN part of TNO is to accelerate the energy transition together with knowledge institutions, companies and the government so that in 2050 the Netherlands will have an energy regime free of CO2 emissions. The energy transition also offers the Dutch business community the opportunity to lead the way and to export their innovative products and thus contribute to the energy transition worldwide.
ECN part of TNO develops new technology and conducts pioneering research in various ways into innovative solutions to facilitate the transition to sustainable energy management. With around 700 members of staff, we are active in projects both at domestically and abroad, in joint efforts with the industry, government authorities and research institutes. Biomass is one of ECN part of TNO’s eight core activities for the near term. ECN part of TNO contributes to the bio-based economy, with a focus on thermochemical conversion of biomass. Areas of research include pre-treatment, gasification, purification and biorefining to produce electricity, heat, transport fuels, materials and chemical feed stocks. ECN part of TNO’s research has a major influence on day to-day life. In this, it performs an important role for the society of today and the future.
ECN part of TNO has led alternative energy efforts, including a national quest to produce a pipeline-grade, synthetic natural gas from biomass. OLGA, MILENA, and a methanation process were developed at ECN part of TNO for this purpose. ECN part of TNO has lab-scale and pilot-scale facilities for these processes that are used extensively for testing fuels and innovations, and ECN part of TNO provides third party testing and monitoring of commercial facilities developed by Synova.
ECN part of TNO’s activities complement Synova’s. ECN part of TNO’s specialty is research and development, while Synova is developing, designing, and delivering equipment for commercial installations. Together, they bring a broad range of capabilities and experience to each gasification project. Aside from funding much of the staff and work that has gone into adaptation of these technologies into an integrated gasification to combined cycle gas turbine system (“IGCC”) for municipal solid waste, Synova’s role is to develop projects that establish these technologies as the new norm.
Effective July 19, 2017, ECN part of TNO and Synova have contributed their patents for the MILENA and OLGA technologies, among others, to a joint venture known as MILENA-OLGA Joint Innovation B.V. (“MOJI”), which will be co-owned by the two parties and which is managed by Synova.
FullCycle Energy Fund
FullCycle Energy Fund is Synova’s project finance affiliate, created to finance construction of profitable trash-to-energy power plants, or conversion of current power plants from traditional fuels to syngas made from municipal solid waste (MSW). FullCycle is also a major shareholder of Synova, and FullCycle founder and managing director Ibrahim Al Husseini is a member of Synova’s board.
Ecosystem Integrity Fund
An early-stage investor in Synova, the Ecosystem Integrity Fund is focused on identifying promising solutions to key threats to ecosystem integrity, from the perspective of both investment value and environmental benefit. Ecosystem Integrity Fund co-founder and partner Devin Whatley is a member of Synova’s board.
Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc. (Caterpillar Ventures) assists entrepreneurs around the world to grow and scale their businesses to build today for a better tomorrow by leveraging Caterpillar’s industry expertise, supply base and independent dealer network. Caterpillar Ventures’ focus areas of investment include robotics, energy, advanced materials, and digital solutions that help our customers be successful. Caterpillar Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.