Jeroen Hazewinkel - CarbonFix

Eclectic Jeroen Hazewinkel “It’s about the big ideas with the slim chance of success.”

 

He has a PhD in Fluid Dynamics, and is specialist on Carbon Capture and Storage. He worked and studied in Cambridge, Spitsbergen and California, among other places. He radically traded his luxurious existence in science and at Shell for a less secure path: “It was a great time. I learned about the global energy industry systems and experienced how the Industry thinks. Both worlds of Academia and Industry are great places to work, with a smart culture and good people. But reports, conferences, wishful thinking, it’s just not enough. Not for the world. Not for me. At CarbonFix, we boost the big ideas with the small chance of success. Very concretely by making that small chance bigger with money, advice and a network.”

 

From first steps to big movement

He is on a mission: "Earth has had five previous extinctions. Never before has a single species been responsible." Although concerned, he derives some optimism from the workings of complex systems. “In fluid dynamics, everything is related and small movements can lead to something very big. A school of fish can turn around in a flash. It starts with 3 or 4 fish, then the rest organises themselves around it effortlessly. We go for these fish taking the lead. It starts with small steps. The projects CarbonFix embraces, have the potential to remove carbon emissions substantially. We facilitate their first steps. Hoping that all those initiatives will lead to a big movement. And yes, we are still looking for new projects."

Innovation comes from the willingness to die in the process

Thanks to CarbonFix, projects can develop independently of standard operations or existing frameworks. The first success is here: YERRAWA, which developed a new catalytic technology, no longer needs CarbonFix. With their Carbon Plus, they carbonise biomass waste, plastic and/or oil waste into valuable hydrogen-rich gas and high-quality carbon materials. "Real innovation happens when you are willing to die. It takes a bit of desperation. Not more of the same with a green sticker; that's branding, image, exterior. Letting go of everything and then pick up something completely new; 20-year-olds are good at that. They are not yet as deeply programmed as people in their forties," Jeroen laughs.

A special place in the ecosystem

"Success is contributing in the long run to sustaining life on earth," Jeroen believes. This is about integrating, not excluding. Or as he puts it: "The way in is the way out. We should not keep kicking at parents like an angry child. Every part of the system has its responsibility. Whether it is politics, multinationals, Extinction Rebellion or our neighbour." And no, he does not think it went wrong somewhere: "It would supposedly be the fault of the peasants, neoliberalism, industrialization, patriarchy. But it is the movement of a complex system, a collective success (or failure). Getting that system to change course is a mega task. But every nano-millimetre has an effect." CarbonFix wants to be part of that movement. Jeroen Hazewinkel: "Quite a special place in the ecosystem.”


Do you know moonshot innovators?

We are always looking for driven inventors, entrepreneurs, students or scientists who want to take their moonshot climate solutions further. Do you know innovators, start-ups, or CO₂ projects ready to take the next step with virtually free money? If so, let us know by emailing hello@cabonfix.org or use the apply form on our website.