Compact reactors in containers

Ineratec GmbH, Karlsruhe: nominated for a German Entrepreneur Award 2018 in the StartUp category

Ineratec has managed to shrink chemical plants down to a compact format. Using solar or wind power these decentralised reactors can produce synthetic fuel for cars or create high-grade starting materials for the chemical industry from waste gases. The German Entrepreneur Award's panel of experts were impressed by the diverse range of applications for the groundbreaking reactors, which are capable of achieving real added value from resources which up till now have been considered as waste. This has earned the Karlsruhe-based company a nomination for a German Entrepreneur Award2018 in the StartUp category.

About the company

Year established 2016
Founders Dr. Tim Böltken, Philipp Engelkamp, Dr. Paolo Piermartini
Seed Capital 25,000 euros
Turnover 2017 over 1 mil. euros
Employees 19

Synthetic natural gas and synthetic fuel for vehicles can be made from ‘climate killers’ CO2 and hydrogen. But this requires a lot of energy. What could make more sense than doing this in close proximity to hydro plants or solar and wind parks? Until now decentralised production has not been economically viable as it requires very expensive and large-scale chemical plants. Yet Ineratec founders Dr. Tim Böltken (33), Philipp Engelkamp (27) and Dr. Paolo Piermartini (37) have achieved a breakthrough: the trio of engineers developed a compact chemical reactor technology that fits inside a commercial ship container. The pre-mounted, cost-effective, compact chemical plants are modular and can be extended to increase capacity at any time. “This allows regenerative energy to be stored, thus helping drive the clean energy revolution”, explains Dr. Tim Böltken.

We were determined to enter the market, because you only get a chance like this once in a lifetime.

But the compact ready-to-go plants can do much more: in many other areas, such as landfill and in industry, relatively small amounts of valuable gases are emitted which are often just burnt off on grounds of cost. With Ineratec's award winning compact reactors it pays to use these hitherto wasted resources to make synthetic fuels or high-grade products for the chemical industry. “We use known procedures like the Fischer Tropsch model, methanol synthesis and methanation but in an extremely compact structure”, explains Dr. Tim Böltken. And precisely that was the technical challenge. Behind the innovative spin-off lie more than 15 years of research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where the founders met while conducting their research. It wasn’t long before users from trade and industry voiced interest in the research findings. “We were determined to enter the market, because you only get a chance like this once in a lifetime.” With an EXIST start-up grant from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and other funding the founders pressed ahead with development and promoted their product at trade events, thus winning their first clients. “The demand is there and market feedback has been very positive.” The multi-patented reactors are in demand worldwide. Pilot plants are up and running in Germany, Spain and Finland. Others will be opened soon in Canada, Brazil, Malaysia and Switzerland. “The plant is housed in a container ready to be loaded onto a ship or lorry.”

Ineratec GmbH

Dr. Tim Böltken
T(0721) 864 844 60

The German Entrepreneur Award's stellar panel of judges praised the forward-thinking Ineratec founders “remarkable vision for the future, outstanding competencies and excellent business prospects with a groundbreaking, worldwide patented product.” The experts nominated the promising high-tech company from Karlsruhe for a German Entrepreneur Award 2018 in the StartUp category. “We are very pleased with the nomination. For us and the whole team it's an acknowledgement that we're on the right path”, said Dr. Tim Böltken. “We want to grow and believe that more doors will now open to us.”