Fuel cell cars are once again in the spotlight! Hyundai is leasing its Tucson Fuel Cell model and aiming for 1000 units by 2015. Honda plans to start selling their model in 2016 while Toyota revealed its Mirai (Japanese for “Future”) that is slated for release this month (Japan) and later next year in USA and Europe. Ford, Daimler and Renault-Nissan are jointly developing technology for “affordable, mass market fuel cell vehicles by 2017” while General Motors and Honda initiated a development partnership last year. Even the New York Times ran a supportive editorial on November 29th titled, “Hydrogen Cars, Coming Down the Pike”. But despite the big headlines and model releases, it’s still a long, bumpy road ahead for fuel cell cars. Unfilled promises and lofty projections have generated a healthy dose of skepticism. At Pangaea Ventures, we have been and are still on the lookout for game changing technology solutions to remove the high barriers in the way of mass deployment of fuel cells (FCs).

A penny saved is a penny earned. An old idiom still frequently uttered today. And its core value extends well beyond basic finance to energy. While "a watt saved is a watt earned" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, the implications are much the same.

Magical Salts Changing Chemistry of Tomorrow

Posted by on in Energy

If you're like me you will always remember the grade-six science experiment where plain old table salt is dissolved in a beaker of water and used to conduct electricity and deliver power to a light bulb. To the wandering 11-year-old mind, the potential (somewhat devious) implications were pretty exciting. As it turns out, aqueous salt electrolytes are vital to countless applications, including pretty much every metabolic activity in the human body. Unfortunately for many useful industrial applications, the realities of evaporation, freezing, boiling and reactivity render these electrolytes useless. So what if there was a non-aqueous salt that remained liquid at room temperature and had a vapor pressure near zero? Well that would be called an ionic liquid, one of the most promising materials of this century.

People often ask us, "Where does Pangaea find all its deals?" The answer is quite proprietary: We've developed channels to over 120 universities and research centers; we are reading patents daily; we follow the work of individual researchers sometimes for years before engaging with an eye to invest. The key is that we generate the majority of our dealflow proactively, and with good reason.

Harvesting More Than Just Crops

Posted by on in Energy

In the past, we typically only thought of the term “harvesting” in relation to agriculture. Perhaps that was a simpler time, before Big Data allowed us to “harvest” great insights for example. At its root (pun intended), harvesting is all about gathering something of value. That something is almost limitless: corn, vibrations, wheat, wasted heat, tomatoes, phone records, fish, etc. More and more, people are looking towards harvesting various forms of energy to improve lives, both present and future, human and battery. As we continually strive to increase energy efficiency and reduce waste, a wide variety of energy conversion and energy harvesting techniques are being explored and developed. Unlike traditional energy generation, which usually requires inputs that cost money (oil, coal, natural gas), energy harvesting generates usable electricity with “free” energy sources already present in the operating environment.