8 Rivers has always been a future-first company, with our eyes on the next innovation, goal, and project that will help us deliver a net-zero world. As we celebrate the momentous occasion of our 15th anniversary, we would like to reflect on the ingenuity, relentless optimism, and world-class team that got us here before turning toward the next 15 years and beyond.
Building a Net Zero Future, Together
8 Rivers was founded in 2008 by Miles Palmer, a U.S. Air Force Veteran with experience in electrical engineering and chemistry, and Bill Brown, a lawyer, entrepreneur, and finance industry veteran who’d held positions at Morgan Stanley, AIG, and others. Palmer and Brown set out to use their combined experience for good, founding 8 Rivers with the broad and ambitious goal of enabling the world’s largest companies to meet their net-zero goals.
The early days were busy ones! A few important milestones:
- In 2010, 8 Rivers founded NET Power, a clean energy technology company with a mission to deliver the “Energy Trifecta:” clean, reliable, and low-cost energy globally.
- In 2012, NET Power partnered with Shaw and Exelon to develop NET Power’s gas-fired power generation technology and create a 50 MWt natural-gas test plant.
- In 2016, together with NET Power, we built a power test facility in La Porte, TX. We’d go on to successfully demonstrate the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle there for the first time in 2018.
- In 2019, we were awarded more than $1.8 million by the UK Government in support of the development of the Whitetail Clean Energy Project.
Over the past 15 years, the world’s leading governments and corporations have made sweeping emissions reduction commitments. Voters demand it. Shareholders demand it. This change in public perception is creating a tidal wave of new investment and deployment of breakthrough technologies. We are thrilled to see the U.S. become a global leader in the race for net zero and, more recently, robustly funding clean energy development with the passage of critical bills including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Legislation and public-private collaborations keep us on a laser-focused path to practical, visionary solutions for climate innovation. In recent years, 8 Rivers has sought out partnerships, public forums, and funding opportunities to bolster our technology and project pipeline.
In 2020, we won seven DOE Carbon Capture grants worth over $30 million, including collaborating with Southwest Research Institute on a sCO2 program that received $6.4M in funding.
In 2021, we were among 28 companies that pledged to accelerate the use of decarbonized hydrogen at COP26. We also kicked off a partnership agreement with JX Nippon to accelerate the decarbonization of hydrogen and power.
In 2022, 8 Rivers’ Calcite direct air capture (DAC) technology was one of six selected to receive funding through the Frontier Fund. We also received a $100M investment from SK and entered into a sales agreement with KC8 Capture Technologies Ltd.
With funding for climate tech projects already passed into law, and interest in decarbonization growing by the day, we know that more opportunities in this space are sure to come. This also includes opportunities within 8 Rivers!
Our team has more than tripled in the past year to support new research and development, pursue partnerships and grow our industry footprint.
A Winding & Transformational Road
We’re especially proud of how our technology portfolio has evolved since our founding. These solutions are transforming our energy infrastructure and speeding the arrival of a net-zero world – we could write several more posts on this journey alone – but let’s start with some of the most significant highlights:
The Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, invented by engineers Rodney Allam and Jeremy Fetvedt, first debuted in 2018. NET Power continues to advance the AFC’s pioneering oxy-combustion process on natural gas. After big investments from Constellation, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, and Baker Hughes, NET Power is on the verge of going public in a SPAC process. The syngas version of the cycle can run on solid fuels like biomass and is currently advancing through a syngas combustor test program funded by Low Emissions Technology Australia and the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE).
8RH2 was also invented by Rodney Allam. By harnessing pure oxygen and pressurized CO2, this technology enables cost-effective, near-zero-emissions hydrogen production, allowing hydrogen and ammonia producers to save on their carbon and financial budgets.
To date, we’ve signed multiple MOUs to commercialize 8RH2 and develop blue ammonia projects based on this technology. Additionally, the U.S. DOE and the Wyoming Energy Authority awarded grant funding for an 8RH2 pre-FEED study in Evanston, Wyoming, engineering a project that could produce 100 MMSCFD of hydrogen with up to 99% carbon capture.
Calcite uses naturally occurring calcium carbonate and a simple novel process to reliably capture and sequester atmospheric CO2. In 2022, Calcite became a milestone winner of the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition – one of 15 selected out of an original field of 1,133 teams and received purchases from Frontier, a carbon removal consortium including Google, Stripe, Shopify, Meta, and McKinsey.
Turning Our Eyes Back to the Future
At 8 Rivers, our purpose has always been to deliver a cleaner tomorrow, today – that means solving for future needs while we’re still in the present.
Looking ahead to our own future, we’re excited to commercialize the biomass application of the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle and bring KC8’s retrofit-ready, post-combustion-carbon-capture UNO MK 3 technology to commercialization across North America and beyond. We’re also hard at work on evolving other portfolio technologies and look forward to sharing more very soon!
On an industry level, we’re excited to see how the IRA will continue to galvanize the U.S. climate tech landscape and accelerate cost curves nationally and globally. Together with our partners, we’ll make the most of this and other opportunities to accelerate our technologies and maximize their impact toward decarbonization goals. While these investments are reassuring, the job of the government is far from done. We must focus on removing remaining regulatory burdens for these projects to move swiftly. Congress must address permitting delays as well as the granting of state primacy for Class VI wells.
In the next 15 years, we will accelerate further on the path to transformation, deploying and delivering today’s technologies while continuing to innovate toward tomorrow’s breakthroughs. 🚀
If you’d like to join us in our push for diversified solutions that will create a prosperous net zero world across the next 15 years and beyond, please connect – we’d love you to join us in our journey.