The Emerging Technologies Competition is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual initiative for early stage companies and academic entrepreneurs who want to commercialise their technologies to make a societal impact.
On 7 July our 23 finalists pitched their technologies to a judging panel of industry heavyweights back in person since 2019 at the Royal Society of Chemistry's prestigious Burlington House. The event was also open to online viewers too.
We are delighted announce the 4 winners in the competition's categories: Enabling Technologies, Energy, Environment & Health
If you are interested in connecting with any of the companies below please email our Programme Manager.
Handheld methanol detector for food control and medical diagnostics
Emerging Technologies Competition winner (Enabling Technologies), 2022
This award is amazing for us. It's a great honour and recognition for the whole team. The Emerging Technologies Competition is a great opportunity because it really recognises young start-ups and supports them in this tough process of innovation forming and product development, and we highly appreciate this
Methanol poisoning causes blindness or even death. Yet, methanol detector for diagnosis by breath analysis or screening of beverages are not available. Here, a handheld, nanostructured sensor is presented for highly selective methanol detection in less than 2 min. This device enables on-site analyses by distillers, authorities and health professionals.
Porous Liquid Technologies
Porous Liquid Technology to enable low energy CO2 Capture
Emerging Technologies Competition winner (Energy), 2022
It has been absolutely brilliant. Even before finding out we had won, this has been a very positive experience, chatting to people here [at the final], getting a little bit of feedback on the way we're positioning ourselves was really helpful.
Porous Liquid Technologies is a unique technology enabling ultra-efficient CO2 capture by combining low cost, readily available porous liquids and solids to create an easily recyclable/regenerable liquid, with high CO2 capacity.
These liquids display huge cost advantages and thermal stability over current technology. Physisorbed gas can be released at low energy by simple temperature/pressure swing.
Low Sulphur Fuels
Fast electrochemical process to recover used hydrocarbons
Emerging Technologies Competition winner (Environment), 2022
I think the opportunity to engage with the Royal Society of Chemistry has allowed us to sharpen our offering - to get exposure to an audience that we found difficult to reach [including] chemical people, chemical investors, chemical customers and so that's been extremely valuable. It's also allowed us to refine and revise what we would say and how we would say it, to different companies, and Emily was very helpful in terms of helping with that.
LSF has a developed a unique chemical recycling process, fast electrochemical process, to convert used hydrocarbon containing feedstocks and produce circular outputs that can used to make new plastics, rubbers, chemicals and other industrial products.
John Taylor, CEO, LSF and has worked relentlessly and diligently for the last 10 years developing the tech said:
“The development of the electrochemical process and the associated chemistry has been a fascinating, relentless journey over many years. We have developed a process that can manipulate molecular structures using our patented technology and we can accept a variety of used feedstocks that are available across multiple industries ”
A ruthenium antimicrobial platform technology to treat multi-drug resistant infections
Emerging Technologies Competition winner (Health), 2022
I'm really really happy. I was the youngest person that pitched today. I came straight out of a PhD into a start-up and i think coming to things like this, you meet like-minded people and really it's nice to be alongside people with the same challenges. Also talking to people from the [judging] panel, that's obviously helpful as well - they've given me a lot of tips about where i can go forward
MetalloBio have developed a novel ruthenium platform technology with application potential as a systemic antibiotic and as a coating for medical devices.
The compounds that underpin the platform are more active than clinical antibiotics, have a novel multi-modal mechanism of action, little-no-emergence of resistance and represent a new antimicrobial class.
Synthetic diamond micro-power cells, powered by recycled beta particle wasteRead more +
The Arkenlight is a low power micro generator made from synthetic diamond and recycled nuclear waste that acts much like a solar panel, except it safely harvests beta particles from radioisotopes locked in a diamond lattice instead of sunlight. This is an enabling technology that serves many low power applications.
Bioinks: Biomaterials for 3D-printing living cells and tissueRead more +
BIOINX are developing and commercialising innovative ready-to-use polymer-based material formulations (bio inks) for 3D bioprinting or biofabrication focussing on materials for multiple printing technologies with a specific focus on very high resolution technologies. These materials can boost the biofabrication field with applications in healthcare, regenerative medicine and drug screening.
Autonomous mobile robot scientists, powered by artificial intelligenceRead more +
There is a global drive to accelerate chemical and materials research by using digital technologies. Gearu have developed autonomous, AI-powered mobile robotic scientists that can work 24/7 in conventional laboratories, accelerating research in areas such as catalysis, materials, and process chemistry by a factor of up to 1000.
University of Nottingham
Nottingham Vortex: scalable process platform to accelerate discovery to productionRead more +
The continuous-flow Nottingham Vortex Reactor provides access to combinations of Photo-/Electro- and Thermal chemistries in single or linked reactors. The Reactor decouples residence time from mixing efficacy delivering high-productivity, simple operation and simple scale-up. The Reactor is capable of Gram-to-Kilo Scale production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and fine chemicals.
Disruptive sustainable alternative for halogenationRead more +
Halogenation imparts molecular X-factor: enhanced bioactivity/bioavalability and the ability to build complex molecules. X-Genix have developed selective, economic and sustainable enzymatic halogenation using simple, non toxic salts as starting materials.
Industrial-scale carbon capture using genetically engineered cyanobacteriaRead more +
CyanoCapture's breakthrough GM technology triples the carbon fixation rate of the best natural strains. They pack these cells into photobioreactors to be deployed on industrial sites. Flue gases containing 10-15% CO2 is bubbled through their systems and rapidly converted into free fatty acids.
Oxford Green Innotech Limited
Ultra-Low temperature ammonia cracking for affordable and efficient hydrogen generationRead more +
To fully utilize green ammonia as an energy vector, Oxford Green Innotech have developed an innovative catalytic technology and separation that can provide pure hydrogen from ammonia at an ultra-low temperature. This substantially reduces the power input by 70%, which minimizes the dimension of the cracking system and enables large-scale green transportation.
Synthesising carbon nanotube and hydrogen energy materials from plastic sourcesRead more +
Plastics are mainly carbon and hydrogen which makes them rich feedstock for chemical conversion into advanced carbon nanomaterials and hydrogen gas. TrimTabs have developed a technology to strip carbon and hydrogen from solvents and various (mixed) plastics to make carbon nanotubes and hydrogen gas.
University of Lincoln
Vanadium pentoxide recovery from ash to produce battery electrolyteRead more +
The University of Lincoln's technology traps vanadium from the recovered ashes of coal power plants. Vanadium is a critical element for the Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries, a very real alternative to ion-lithium batteries and able to store high amounts of energy. Their technology allows the economic recovery of difficult-to-recover vanadium.
Mild-acid thermal solvolysis of lignocellulosic biomassRead more +
The present invention relates to a method for obtaining a lignin composition using a compressed gas and acid assisted process, wherein a lignocellulosic biomass feedstock is treated with a polar organic solvent and in organic acid to the release lignin into said solvent.
Critical metal extraction using deep eutectic solvents from E-wasteRead more +
Descycle have developed a novel solvent leaching process for the purpose of recycling E-waste using a technology called Deep Eutectic Solvents. These solvents are made from environmentally benign commodities and replace the need to use hazardous leaching solutions such as highly oxidising acids and cyanide.
Ultra-fast development of enzymes for a circular plastic economyRead more +
Evoralis have developed a unique ultrahigh-throughput screening platform based on a microfluidic technology to find and improve enzymes that can break down plastics into their constituent building-blocks. These can be re-used to make new virgin-grade plastic and replace crude oil for a true circular plastic economy.
High-value fruit midge pest pheromones for sustainable pest managementRead more +
PheroSyn supply new, unavailable, high-value insect pest chemical pheromones that are to be deployed for crop protection, to incorporate smarter and more sustainable pest management in the agribusiness sector, by targeted and reduced reliance of pesticide application. This will mitigate climate change through reduced chemical pesticide production and application.
Quantifying recycled content in plastics and packaging with fluorescent markers
ReCon^2 have developed a method to quantify the amount of post-consumer recycled content in plastics and packaging. Their simple technology uses chemical auditing of fluorescent additives and is equally adept at quantifying chemically and mechanically recycled content to support both TrustMark schemes and the Plastic Packaging Tax.
A cleaning process without discharge for closed loop systemsRead more +
Strengite have developed a new process that enables closed loop corrosion inhibitors to become cleaners and back again infinitely without discharge. The process is able to remove even heavy rusts and metal oxides from metal surfaces. Eliminating the massive pollution and water footprint associated with closed loop cleaning.
A bioactive metal-oxide nanoparticle platform to heal complex woundsRead more +
Non-healing wounds are among today's primary medical challenges. The rise of diabetes, antimicrobial resistance, and population aging aggravate the problem. In an overarching collaboration with leading scientists and clinicians in the field, anavo medical have developed bioactive metal-oxide nanoparticles that improve soft tissue healing while keeping infections in check.
Chemical coating for innovative, sensitive and reliable diagnostic testsRead more +
Kimialys leverage an innovative and patented chemical coating for gold nanoparticles and chips, enhancing the sensitivity and specificity of rapid diagnostic tests and point-of-care assays. Their technology paves the way for the development of reliable, cost-effective and portative assays.
Developing more tolerable cancer therapeutics using mesoporous carrier technologyRead more +
MESOX is developing the next-generation of therapeutics with lower side-effects to patients. Their mission is to make cancer medicines more tolerable through enhancing their bioavailability and lowering the extra unnecessary dose in the patient body. MESOX's mesoporous carrier technology enhances drug solubility and absorption allowing optimised dose delivery to patients.
University College London
Magnetic Iron Oxide nanoflowers for a better cancer treatmentRead more +
UCL have developed a simple, fast, robust, reproducible, and scalable method to produce iron oxide nanoflowers for use in magnetic hyperthermia cancer treatment. Their nanoflowers have 3 times higher heating rates compared to that of commercially available iron oxide nanoparticles and will aid adoption of this new therapeutic modality.