CleanTechies Podcast
#188 Decarbonizing Steam, Drop-In Replacement, Building in Stealth, & More w/ Ashwin Salvi (AtmosZero)

#188 Decarbonizing Steam, Drop-In Replacement, Building in Stealth, & More w/ Ashwin Salvi (AtmosZero)

How AtmosZero is Steaming Through the Industrial Sector

Are you ready to blow off some steam? (how’s that?)

🌎 Welcome back to CleanTechies, founder edition.

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Today, we are talking to Ashwin Salvi from AtmosZero

Today we get the chance to tackle a discussion around one of the biggest trouble makers in industrial production: Steam.

As you’ll find out, steam is a huge part of most industrial production today. We need to decarbonize all of it, so Ashwin discusses with us

  • How their tech is doing that

  • Why they chose to build in stealth initially

  • How they validated the idea

  • And he finishes us off with some business ideas

It’s truly an inspiring conversation because it shows how, with a lot of forethought and diligence, you can avoid many big mistakes—something every climate entrepreneur wants to hear.

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The Guest: Ashwin Salvi

  • After graduating from the University of Michigan with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Ashwin ended up at ARPA-E, a place all of us energy nerds are somewhat familiar with.

  • After a couple years of that he ended up at Achates Power where he was innovating on the internal combustion engine to make it much more sustainable.

  • Eventualy, he and some former colleagues realized how big of a problem steam was, and they put all of their PhDs together to solve it.

  • After some validation, they went all in and founded AtmosZero.

The Company: AtmosZero

One Liner: Decarbonizing steam boilers with a cost effective drop in solution.

Industry is responsible for around 37% of global emissions. Producing steam is a huge part of that because steam touches so many things. Food and Beverage, Pharma, Chemicals, Textiels, Pulp and Paper, Metals and Mining, Automotive, Rubber and Plastics, Construction Materials, Cosmetics, etc. Yet most of us don’t even know about it.

They knew that solving this problem was critical to the decarbonization of industry. So they took a look at existing decarbonization methods.

The two major options are either too expensive to operate, or too expensive to install.

So, they decided to make a commercial scale unit that can be set on-site, or nearby, and piped into existing infrastructure. This drops the install cost substantially.

As for the operating costs? They’ve managed, with a little secret sauce of their own, to get their boilers highly efficient.

Today they are working on their inital pilot project with New Belgium Brewery with many other demonstrations lined up after.

Do you have suggestions on future guests or topics? Leave a comment!

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📝 Show Notes:


  • 1:58 Introduction and Background

  • 10:03 Creating a Standardized Solution for Decarbonization

  • 24:03 Return on Investment and Future Plans

  • 25:42 De-risking and Mass Manufacturing

  • 29:23 Challenges and Objections

  • 39:32 First Commercial Deployment

  • 48:48 Opportunities in Electrical Availability and Funding

  • 51: 38 Takeaways


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CleanTechies Podcast
We are CleanTechies, the #1 Podcast for ClimateTech Entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an active ClimateTech entrepreneur, an aspiring one, an investor, a service provider…anything that touches supporting early stage climate tech, this is the place for you.
Each week, we publish two interviews with leading experts in the field telling their stories, insights, and advice to help ClimateTech Entrepreneurs like you be inspired by their successes and learn from their mistakes.