Most startups aspire to reach good points, but Particle-N, a UConn-affiliated technologies organization, has a notably inspiring mission.
The enterprise is making ready to enter the $19 billion, international cherished-metal catalyst market and to simultaneously assist the clear-vitality business in Connecticut.
“We have all purchased cherished metals, these types of as gold and platinum for our liked types, but that is not the only application for these metals,’’ suggests Al Kasani ’27 (ENG), the founder of Particle-N, and a serial entrepreneur. “A big proportion of all cherished metals created in the entire world are converted to catalyst content for industries this kind of as oil and gasoline, hydrogen, or even automobile catalytic-converter production.’’
Particle-N is revolutionary know-how that will drastically reduce the total of valuable metals needed as catalysts and as a result slash expenses for those industries. By using main-shell know-how, Particle-N coats an cheap, environmentally pleasant materials with cherished metals though reaching the similar ideal reactions. The approach can minimize the volume of important steel applied by up to 70 percent.
The cost of an automobile’s catalytic converter, now about $2,000, could be slice in 50 %. The blend of much less treasured metals and a decrease retail rate would make it significantly less appealing to robbers.
But most likely the most impactful savings would be for eco-friendly hydrogen era, which now has a value tag between $400,000 and $870,000. Particle-N believes it could lower 30 p.c from that price.
“I take pleasure in resolving difficulties,” says Kasani, a UConn Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering. “I also have a good staff with sharp minds. I have comprehensive religion in my team. I explain to individuals: ‘You’re likely to listen to about us!’”
Startup Vying for Major UConn Organization Prize
On Tuesday, Particle-N and five other UConn-affiliated startups will compete for more than $50,000 in prize cash through the Wolff New Venture Competitors, the University of Business’ leading entrepreneurship function.
“We’re self-confident in our technological innovation and our business enterprise model. It’s enjoyable to be pitching at the Wolff competition,’’ suggests Reiner Reichenberger ’24 (BUS), Particle-N co-founder and organization supervisor. “We have attracted a great offer of interest, primarily from the hydrogen sector. Particle-N by now has prospective buyers that have expressed interest in inserting orders truly worth all over $5 million, as before long as we have the manufacturing capacity.’’
“It’s really critical that we have this main-shell technological innovation simply because the hydrogen marketplace is begging for alternatives to convey down prices,’” Reichenberger suggests. “Connecticut is one of the biggest hubs for the hydrogen industry, and we have the prospective to support companies in Connecticut increase.’’
Connecticut corporations that may possibly reward from the know-how involve Plug Electricity, Doosan, and Nel Hydrogen.
“When I started functioning on industrial tasks from Connecticut-centered hydrogen companies at UConn’s investigation labs, I understood the most considerable barrier to these firms is the significant price of important steel catalysts,” suggests Kasani, who is effective in UConn President Radenka Maric’s lab at the Middle for Clear Power Engineering (C2E2).
“Hydrogen is the foreseeable future energy carrier, and Connecticut is at the forefront of its growth,’’ he suggests. “By decreasing the expense of environmentally friendly hydrogen creation, we will grow to be a key participant in the sustainability activity as hydrogen replaces oil and gasoline as the major strength carrier.’’
Particle-N workforce member Michael Dunn ’24 (ENG), an undergraduate chemical and biomedical engineering pupil, has encounter functioning with catalysts in the hydrogen marketplace and past summer months he interned at the U.S. Section of Electricity. There, he formulated a deeper appreciation of the troubles of manufacturing clean up electricity. Particle-N’s technological innovation offers a major stepping-stone toward that changeover, he claims.
A Crystal clear Route Ahead
Particle-N is highly developed in its organization advancement. Its prototypes are complete, and the company is getting patent defense. It has won quite a few entrepreneurship competitions at UConn, and elsewhere, and received thousands in funding. With some authorized roadblocks now resolved, the startup’s management is keen to shift ahead.
This summertime, Kasani and Reichenberger participated in the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CCEI)’s Summer season Fellowship startup accelerator, wherever they benefitted from a myriad of company guidance, like tips for even further establishing their small business system, attracting financing, and getting ready for start.
“In Rory McGloin’s courses, I discovered how to notify my tale in an very easily digestible way. Also, Michelle Cote, an instructor for CCEI, assisted us to polish our small business design. And Alycia Chrosniak, Assistant Director of Brand name & Venture Enhancement at CCEI, constantly helped us with her insights,’’ Kasani says. “Before, my stories had been too complicated. I acquired to articulate intricate ideas in a way that would make sense for individuals who don’t get the job done in this industry.’’
“I observed broad enhancements to our function and the connections we built at CCEI were being invaluable. They presented a pretty in depth system and gave us a apparent path forward,’’ Reichenberger claims.
Entrepreneur Has Previously Identified Fame
Particle-N isn’t Kasani’s 1st invention. Earlier this calendar year he acquired publicity for the development of a new, self-cooling tenting tent. Utilizing a proprietary fabric, and a solitary gallon of h2o, the cooling technologies can previous for up to 24 several hours.
“Looking into nature is the essential to a lot of of our troubles,’’ he said at the time. “Plants wick h2o from the ground and then sweat to awesome themselves, and they get their essential energy from the sunshine. What I did was simply to come across a materials that could do the similar career.’’
The Wolff New Venture Competitors will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the College of Business’ GBLC, 2nd Ground, 100 Structure Plaza, Hartford. All are welcome. Make sure you pre-sign up.