Paul O’ Connor was born in Curaçao, The Netherlands Antilles. He graduated at the Eindhoven University of Technology in Chemical Engineering in 1977 with a M.Sc. Thesis on Fluidization of powders with Prof. Kees Rietema.
Paul has been active in heavy oil conversion processes at Shell in design, process, and refinery operations and at Akzo Nobel in marketing and research management of refining catalysts. He championed several breakthrough innovations in the application, testing and manufacturing of Fluid Catalytic Cracking Catalysts.
After the acquisition of Akzo Nobel Catalysts by Albemarle, Paul led the long-term development strategy for Refining Catalysts.
Early 2006 Paul formed his first start-up: BIOeCON, which focused on the economical conversion of biomass to renewable fuels and energy. BIOeCON working with an international network of creative scientists has developed several breakthrough concepts laid down in patent applications. In 2007 BIOeCON and Khosla Ventures formed KiOR to develop and commercialize BIOeCON’s Biomass Catalytic Cracking (BCC) process; The BCC process is based on catalytic pyrolysis and produces a processable renewable crude oil product. Unfortunately the scale up of this technology by KiOR has not been successful.
In 2010 BIOeCON and PETROBRAS formed a partnership to develop a new technology called BiCHEM based on ZnCl2 molten salts, for the selective conversion of agricultural wastes into oxygen containing fuel additives. Recently this partnership has been discontinued because of a shift in priorities at PETROBRAS. BIOeCON has retained the ZnCl2 technology IP and has developed the process further, and is presently evaluating its application towards 2nd generation sustainable biofuels, high value chemicals and specialty materials.
Paul launched ANTECY in 2010 as a separate innovative venture, with as goal to convert renewable (solar, wind, etc.) energy directly into high-density liquid fuels or chemicals. ANTECY has filed several patents in the area of the capturing and conversion of CO2 based on a low cost and environmentally friendly non-amine CO2 sorbent and is now forming partnerships to demonstrate and commercialize this technology.
Paul is an author and co-author of several publications on heavy oil conversion and biomass processes. He holds a significant number of patents in the area of catalysis, catalytic processing, biomass conversion, solar conversion and the synthesis and application of advanced materials.
- Short Bio, January 2017