APIX Analytics wants to revolutionize gas analysis02/05/2016
APIX Analytics, one of the ENGIE Group’s partner startups, develops ultra-miniaturized gas analyzers to analyze the various compounds within a gas mixture.Philippe Andreucci, CEO of APIX Analytics, agreed to answer our questions and tell us about his startup, which is revolutionizing the field of gas analysis.
Hello Philippe. What are the most innovative aspects of your solution?
- Miniaturization: Gas analyzers were previously quite heavy and very large. Our analyzer takes the scale down from 500L to 10L, in other words 50 times smaller! Miniaturization lets us bring the solution closer to the sample being analyzed.
- Our solution performs better than conventional systems, especially for heavy compounds. Our analyzer can measure heavy gases without adding extra functions, which wasn’t possible before. We are also very proud of the fact that our solution can analyze a gas mixture very quickly.
- Our analyzer’s functions are integrated into silicon chips. We’re following an “integration road map” similar to the one that has led to revolutions in electronics thanks to this material.
We’ve made a lot of progress, since at this stage our analyzer provides both better performance and a 40% better return on its full cost as compared to conventional systems.
One of the other highlights of our analyzer is that it can be modified and is easy to use: it’s a "plug and play" tool. The core of the solution is a cartridge comparable in size to that of a printer cartridge. We are developing several types of cartridges to meet different needs and adapting them to measure things simply and instantaneously. There are real benefits to this in terms of simplifying the use, maintenance and adaptability of the tools.
If a new need appears, all we have to do is develop the cartridge that meets the need and integrate it into the tool.
How will collaborating with ENGIE help APIX Analytics achieve its ambitious development goals?
ENGIE is one of the world leaders in energy and a leading player in the global gas market, which is our sector. The Group has also spent the last two years developing a complete series of tools for developing innovation and the businesses of the future.
This new, highly dynamic, ambitious and agile approach immediately appealed to us. So APIX considers ENGIE’s investment to be "smart" money: we have the support of a major shareholder, one who is credible, powerful and capable of opening up opportunities for technical and commercial cooperation. We work well with ENGIE’s large internal labs like CRIGEN, who have helped us accelerate our product development and make sure they are in line with market needs. ENGIE also provides us with commercial support and helps us to open up markets both in France and abroad, where APIX hopes to expand more in the coming years.
ENGIE has given us a real "plus" in terms of credibility, market power and image.
What main uses of APIX Analytics’s analyser was ENGIE interested in?
As far as ENGIE’s businesses go, they are mainly the areas of biogas and natural gas.Developing biogas involves processing and analysis before it can be injected into the network. This is a key step in terms of quality control and compliance with biogas standards. The analyzers that are currently in use today are very large and very expensive. Our solution provides results that are least as good while being more compact, cheaper and scalable, depending on future measurement needs.
Adding smart meters requires knowing the fine details of the quality of gas being distributed anywhere within the network. This could even become a regulatory requirement soon. In France, as elsewhere, the quality of the gas is not perfectly uniform throughout the network. This situation could become critical with the rise of biogas and the proliferation of supply sources.
The portability and cost of the solution developed by APIX Analytics makes it easier to increase the number of sites where you can conduct an analysis. It could also enable billing based on the quality of the gas delivered, which could have a significant impact at the scale of entire industries or communities.
This is why we are part of the FUI Gontr@nd driven ENGIE project, which is a collaborative, innovative project that is laying the groundwork for the smart gas grids of the future.
Any last remarks to conclude?
I would just like to say that ENGIE’s support has been precious for helping us grow and develop!
Watch Philippe Andreucci describing his innovative gas analysis in this video.
Source: Christine Leroy