Paul O’Connor – Founder
My own professional background – like most of our team – has been in the fossil fuel industry. I started my career at Shell, where I mainly worked in the area of cracking heavy oils in to useful products. Thereafter I started working at Akzo Nobel Catalyst, where the focus was to develop catalyst technology to improve key refinery processes: Catalytic Cracking and Hydro processing. Already in those days (1980s), there was an environmental awareness leading to a need for developing cleaner fuels.
At the end of 2005 I left that field to form my first start-up: BIOeCON. Our goal was to convert waste biomass into fuels or chemicals by making use of smart catalytic technologies. Since then, with my team I have been active in several related ventures including KiOR, ANTECY and CELLiCON.
In 2018 CELLiCON acquired BIOeCON’s technology to separate cellulose from biomass and/or textile wastes and to upcycle this into high quality nano-cellulose structured materials. In 2019 Climeworks obtained ANTECY’s technology for CO2 capturing and conversion.
Recently I have become enthusiastically involved in the quest to convert other waste materials such as non-cellulosic biowaste, plastics and fossil organic materials into valuable green products without the emission of greenhouse gasses like CO2, CH4, NOx etc. and/or toxic materials. Based on this focus, and with the help of our group of specialists, the Yerrawa vision emerged.