News 11 Mar 2024

Woodside Energy and Rice announce a new Decarbonisation Accelerator for Houston

It was standing room only at the Ion, the centre of Houston’s innovation district, for the official launch of the Woodside-Rice Decarbonisation Accelerator.

Houston is just as excited as we are about our most recent technology collaboration! Woodside Energy and Rice University executives received a capacity crowd at the Ion, spanning industry, government, and academia, for the official launch of the Woodside-Rice Decarbonisation Accelerator (the Accelerator) in January of this year. We’re proud to be contributing US$12.5 million to this initiative over the next five years with an aim to bring breakthrough decarbonisation technology from Rice labs to market.

The strategic agreement with Rice is our first research and development collaboration with a university in the United States. We’re excited to have this opportunity to contribute further to the Houston innovation ecosystem by bringing together Rice's expertise in nanomaterials and chemistry with Woodside's operating experience in support of a common goal, to tackle greenhouse gases at scale.

Woodside Executive Vice President of Technical Services Daniel Kalms emphasised that “Houston, as the world's energy capital, is perfectly positioned to help develop the breakthrough technologies needed for the energy transition.”

Tony Almond, Woodside’s Vice President of Technology agrees, “the partnership with Rice represents a unique opportunity to leverage the strength of the Houston innovation ecosystem.” Tony explains that this is important when considering the unique aspect of this collaboration is to focus on commercial pathways to technology deployment, “being a part of this ecosystem will provide the opportunity to leverage the resources and capabilities at both the City’s Greentown Labs and the Ion District for the necessary infrastructure, machining, and engineering support for the scalable testing and prototyping of technologies emerging from the Rice Labs”.

Rice hopes to leverage cold plasma technology, a unique approach to breaking down carbon dioxide, with a specific focus on manufacturing products derived from captured carbon dioxide and methane. These products have potential applications to make better batteries, transistors, and other critical materials for energy technologies.

“The exciting part about carbon capture and utilisation technologies is that they look at greenhouse gasses as an opportunity and a resource, not just a challenge” said Jitendra Joshi, Head of Carbon Products and Alternative Fuels at Woodside.  

The Accelerator will be run by Paul Cherukuri, Vice President of Innovation at Rice University, and Aditya Mohite, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Materials Science and Nanoengineering.

Within Woodside, our Technology & Innovation and New Energy teams will work together to oversee the research and development aspect with the Rice team. Joining the oversight committee from Woodside for the Woodside-Rice Decarbonisation Accelerator are:

  • Tony Almond, VP Technology and Innovation
  • Maria Gonzalez-Perez, VP Strategic Planning and Portfolio (New Energy)
  • Jitendra Joshi, Head of Carbon Products and Alt Fuels (New Energy Growth Solutions

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