Make impossible things possible

Written on February 2, 2015 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

If you can convert CO2 into energy? Many people have been dreaming about it but it has been regarded as a fantasy for a long time. Do you have a courage to take a leap of faith to challenge it? NEWCO2Fuels has developed the technology, which allows us to turn CO2 into fuels. David Banitt, CEO of NEWCO2Fuels, tells us how you can think to make impossible things possible.


David Banitt Photo 1


1. For those who are not familiar with you, before founding the current company, you had experienced many different fields. What did make you motivated to found NewCO2Fuels and work in the renewable energy field?


Today’s world is all about quick inventions and quick money without real meaning for improving life quality, without paying attention to our environmental issues. I was looking for ways to contribute to a better world and create positive impact for the next generations. This is why a few years ago I helped founding a solar energy company and today I am working on the next step which is recycling CO2 into useful products.
2. How did you come up with the idea of transforming industrial wastes into energy?


Transforming industrial wastes into energy is not a new concept. For years, people have developed ways to recycle waste into products or energy, mainly under the form of electricity. Prof. Karni from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, came up with the idea to take CO2 that is currently considered as waste, use it as feedstock and convert it into energy after hearing global plans of CCS. CCS (Carbon Capture and Sequestration) plan to capture CO2 from energy intensive industries, compress it and buried it under the ground. Prof. Karni realized this is probably not the best idea to preserve mankind and started to work on an alternative solution for CO2 emissions in his laboratory. His idea was to convert it into useful products i.e. fuel. Once he proved that the concept work, Prof Karni, an old friend of mine, ask me to join in and assume the challenge to found a company and translate the concept into an actual product and commercialize it.


3. What was the first step you took when you decided to make your idea happen?


The first step was verifying that the economics is sound. A great idea that cannot be sold is not a product. After analyzing the economics behind our solution, and realizing there is a great economic potential we decided to go forward. The second step was arranging funding for the company and hire the right people to make it happen.


4. What kind of difficulties had you in the beginning and how did you overcome it?


As mentioned before, the two great challenges for any start-up are the funding and the people. You cannot go forward without either of them. You need the money to hire great people and you need great people to develop an amazing product. We were lucky to find Australian investors that have long vision and green spirit  took the challenge and associated risk to fund the initiation of the company. Soon after having these two ingredients, the challenges were mostly technical and we overcame then nicely. As said earlier, when you have people and the funds required if the commercial justification is there the technical problems will be solved.


5. What is your future vision and what kind of steps you plan to take to reach the goals?
My future vision is to have clean industries that are able to produce the products we all need today, but without leaving a carbon footprint behind. By working at NewCO2Fuels, I am showing the world this is something that can be done and I hope our work here will motivate others to find different solutions with the same aim.


6. What are the key factors to generate innovation?


Ideas, Brilliant People, Out of the box solutions and great financial and strategic partners that share your view.


7. How do you persuade people to believe in your idea, especially when it sounds crazy to the majority of people?


You explain to them, step by step why it is not crazy. Many people thought we didn’t need laptops. IBM CEO said many years ago that the market for personal computers will be very small. Same was with the telephone. Look at today’s world. It is important to stay motivated and to believe in your ideas in order to have others believe in it as well.


8. What is the essence of selling ideas?


Having an idea you believe in, an idea you are ready to fight for and take risks to make it happen. This way, you will be able to share your ideas and convince people this is an idea worth their time… and money.


9. If you can leave one message to make the world better, what would you say?


Clean up after yourself and find some time, every day or week to contribute to making this world a better place. We only have one home, one planet.


©Masaaki Hasegawa






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