#SET100 at WEC24 – Road to Abu Dhabi Interview: Chemolex Company

As part of the SET Award 2019, the top 100-ranked start-ups who applied for the SET Award were rewarded the opportunity to participate and showcase as part of the Innovation Hub at the 24th World Energy Congress (WEC24) 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Sponsored by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, this incredible opportunity includes travel and accommodation expenses, and a showcase space for the SET100 at the congress.

In the lead up to WEC24, we asked the participating SET100 start-ups to answer a few questions to provide potential partners the opportunity to learn more about them and to also help other start-ups learn from their experiences. We thank them for their work toward the global energy transition and for sharing with us the following insights.


#SET100 Start-up: Chemolex Company (Kenya)

Chemolex Company produces clean biofuel from the invasive water hyacinth plant by applying its patented advanced bio-conversion technology. The patented technology enables us to produce the highest amount of bio fuel from a given mass of the invasive water hyacinth plant within the shortest time possible.

Traveling, pitching, partaking in meetings, and networking requires considerable time and effort. Other than perhaps being given a blank check, what is the best case scenario or result you as a start-up hope to get out of participating in initiatives such as the SET platform and the Innovation Hub at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi?

Specifically, I look forward to interacting with key stakeholders in the global energy sector and gain important insights and knowledge that will be used in the expansion of our start-up. Our Company which is Chemolex Company is a green start-up company that produces clean and affordable multi-purpose biofuel from the invasive water hyacinth plants. Currently, the biofuel is supplied to 2,000 households in Kenya and also powers 500 motor bikes for transport services. We plan to scale the project in October 2019 and therefore, we will leverage on the conference to gain important insights that will help in scaling up the project. We will also try to foster partnerships and collaboration with key stakeholders that will help us in securing external financial support that is critically required at this stage of the business development.

Given the stage of your start-up and your particular focus/sector/technology, what is one challenge that you have overcome or lesson that you have learned that may be valuable to other similar start-ups?

Our Company is almost finishing piloting our multi-purpose biofuel in 2,000 households and 500 motor bikes in western part of Kenya. We aim to expand the project to 10,000 households and 4000 motor bike transport companies by the end of May 2020.

What is one of the main obstacles or regulations that you have had to overcome prior to, or in preparation of market entry into your given business environment?

The main obstacle that we have encountered is to ensure that the multipurpose meets the high fuel standards stipulated by the ASTM and other standardization organization. So far, we have managed to achieve certification in 10 out of the 12 standards and we will be able to apply for certifications on the remaining two standards. Our main country of operation is Kenya.


Thanks for reading and thanks again to Chemolex Company. More information about them can be found here: https://chemolex.co.ke/

More about the SET100, including a full list of each SET100 start-up can be found here.

Related articles

02. Mobility & Transportation

SET23 Winner: Navalt Is Electrifying Marine Transport

“[To make it cost effective] you have to completely reengineer the whole boat. It is not taking a boat and […]

clean energy solutions

SET23 Winner: Energy Dome Solved the Intermittency Problem

Energy Frontrunners looks at the best clean energy innovations from the SET Award. First up: the inside story of 2023 winners Energy Dome.

Photo: shutterstock/fanjianhua

´How Innovation and Electrification Will Keep Us at 1.5°C

The answer to keeping the 1.5°C goal alive is through en mass innovation and electrification. We look at some of IRENA’s solutions.