The Happy Accident Invention of the NanoNets.
Founded in 2016, CarboNet™ was born out of founder Michael Carlson’s desire to have a life-changing impact on the world. During the course of his PhD work in Biochemistry, Mike quickly realized that the tenured professor route was not in his DNA. He wanted to chart another path.
Around the time of Mike’s proverbial awakening, the industry was facing a number of high-profile, large-volume oil spills.
For offshore oil spills, dispersants (a type of detergent) were used to remediate the massive oil slicks that emerged at the water’s surface. However, this treatment approach caused far more damage than good. The dispersants were so effective at breaking down the oil that it could not be collected and removed. Rather, the emulsified oil sunk deep into the water column, poisoning aquatic life well below the surface.
When Mike read about the unwanted effects of these dispersants, he was inspired to find a solution. After long hours in the lab, Mike came across a happy accident when experimenting with various mixtures of surfactants and polymers used in the drug delivery arena. Rather than breaking down the oil like conventional dispersants, these mixtures instead bind and agglomerate the oil and separate it for removal. Following more time in the lab, Mike discovered that the chemical solution could indeed bind a variety of constituents.
From this happy accident, the CarboNet™ chemical method was born. The technology innovation developed from the targeted mixing of surfactants and polymer was called NanoNets™ – the technical backbone of the CarboNet™ process.
The potential for CarboNet’s technology to change the world caught the attention of an experienced management team. Together, they sought to commercialize the NanoNet™ innovation with the aim of building a sustainable and global business centered around water treatment and remediation.