General Electric announced today that it has poured more cash into Advanced Electron Beams (AEB), a company working on making electron beam technology more energy efficient. With electron beams used widely to instigate industrial and manufacturing chemical reactions, the company’s offerings could add up to substantial energy savings if it can increase its market share.
Flagship Ventures led the round of $14.2 million — AEB’s third — which also included, Atlas Venture, General Catalyst Partners, RockPort Capital Partners and Agman Partners. It has now raised over $50 million since its inception in 2005.
The company, based in Wilmington, Mass., says its technology could cut energy consumption for industrial and manufacturing companies between 60 and 90 percent. This would not only lower costs for these operations, but also slash their emissions — which could become a major priority for these companies if a cap and trade system is nationally instituted.
AEB says its electron beams can be used for most standard procedures, including sterilization, curing, polymer treatment and pollution abatement. It’s used to induce chemical reactions used in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, packaging and plastic industries. The company says its electron beam emitter is actually smaller and less expensive than traditional models.