EnerG2 Fires Up Oregon Factory

2/13/12Follow @curtwoodward

EnerG2, a University of Washington spinoff that creates synthetic carbon materials that are highly efficient at storing energy, is opening a new factory in Albany, OR today. The company, founded in 2003, won a $21.3 million federal grant to help finance the factory, part of the federal stimulus spending.

EnerG2 says the Oregon plant is the first in the world “dedicated to the commercial-scale production of engineered carbon material.”  The plant will initially employ about 35 people, with potential to grow to a larger workforce.

“We have successfully demonstrated that scientific innovation can indeed lead to a domestic manufacturing-base and the jobs that come with it,” EnerG2 CEO Rick Luebbe says in a statement.

EnerG2′s engineered carbon materials are purer than natural sources of carbon—things like wood, shells, and coconut husks—that can be used in developing other kinds of energy storage materials, like batteries or ultracapacitors, which make energy use more efficient.

Seattle-based EnerG2 chose the Oregon location because of its work with partner Oregon Freeze Dry. EnerG2 investors include WRF Capital, Northwest Energy Angels, the Frontier Angel Fund, OVP Venture Partners, Yaletown Venture Partners, and Firelake Capital Management.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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