Jannes Colaert

Problem-Solving Energy Professionals Drive My Optimism

By Jannes Colaert on Jan 26, 2020

I’ve been with Shell for well over a decade, and I’ve seen firsthand how our company excels at identifying and solving problems. At our core, we are problem solvers. The people attracted to our business and livelihood are inherently passionate, motivated, and intellectually curious. So, now that our industry and the global economy have a universal mandate to drive energy transition, I’m very optimistic about what comes next. And, on a personal level, I’m excited to be part of an organization and industry that is key to improving the quality of life for everyone on our planet. 

I’m a General Manager for Shell Catalysts & Technologies in Ghent, Belgium. Given my position and responsibilities, I want to contribute to solving energy transition issues -- even if it is just a little bit -- as much as I can. I see the following professional opportunities as important possibilities to be part of meaningful changes; in my role, these scenarios come in 3 categories:

  • Supporting the development and manufacturing of catalysts that provide radically different pathways to fuels and chemicals;
  • Driving year-on-year yield and energy efficiency improvements in our existing catalyst portfolio;
  • Reducing GHG emissions from catalyst manufacturing itself. We, in fact, recently switched to 100% wind energy for our Ghent manufacturing facility.

Discover How Human Development Creates Innovative Energy Solutions

Different Regions With Similar Problems and Solutions

Though I am based in Belgium, I interact with my colleagues in our sister companies, far beyond just Europe. Energy professionals in every country and region are connected by energy transition on an international level. Though many challenges can be dictated by local geographic, cultural, and political/regional realities, oftentimes we share the same struggles. In fact, both Europe and China are challenged with limited local hydrocarbon resources and therefore are highly incentivised to work towards solutions for a lower-carbon energy system. I’m excited about the potential of lower-carbon energy initiatives being embraced by Shell Catalysts & Technologies, such as our IH² technology and catalysts that delivers a true drop-in fuel based on waste.

In addition, Shell Catalysts & Technologies is helping to advance environmental solutions. Innovations in our DeNOx technologies -- such as Shell DeNOx System (SDS) catalyst technology which can offer high NOx reduction across a broad range of conditions -- are allowing the industry to create cleaner energy. Also, chemistry is driving groundbreaking advancements in energy. Bio to chemicals, methane to chemicals, and the role of catalysts in the hydrogen economy -- as well as methane capture in LNG engines -- are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing technologies and are impacting energy transition on a global level.

Learn More About Selective Catalytic Reduction: DeNOx

A Commitment to Constant Improvement

The people at Shell Catalysts & Technologies are dedicated to energy transition and are especially passionate about collaborating with owner-operators to understand their perspectives in these times of change. Our collaborations with owner-operators commonly produce the exchange of deep practical knowledge and expertise that -- when combined with our dedication to solving problems -- can generate positive business and environmental outcomes. Creating value through innovation requires a commitment, both in terms of creative thinking and sweat equity, from all involved parties. 

Also, our wide portfolio of catalysts can enhance just about any catalyst requirement in a refinery or petrochemical plant. Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ integrated solutions -- consultancy, tech licenses, and catalysts -- generates a collective value where the results are greater than the individual components (1+1+1 > 3). Our employees espouse a relentless and continuous improvement to make an existing catalyst better, every generation, time after time, so it produces a better yield at a lower energy cost. I’m happy to be part of an organization that is committed to advancing cleaner energy initiatives in powerful ways. By combining our passion, problem-solving skills, and collective expertise, we energy professionals have every reason to feel optimistic about where we, and our industry, is heading.