Khepra taking aim at the petrochemical industry

Kunal Sethi
3 min readJul 6, 2022


Let me start with the Founder, Julie Kring is super passionate about Climate change, she breathes Climate and is a positive force for change, runs the startup on her own terms, making her own playbook to address Climate change, and has a degree from UC San Diego in Biochemistry.

Khepra is developing a technology that is directly taking aim at the petrochemical industry and the plethora of sustainability issues that plagues these giant corporations. Khepra is building reactors to harness the stored chemical energy of our common waste streams, such as plastics and biomass. Their technology can utilize biomass and plastic waste streams to produce high-value chemicals. Their process is completely electrified which is critical for the chemical industry moving forward to reach net-zero emissions. Since their reactor can produce chemicals faster, their operating costs are lower which enables them to cost competitively manufacture chemicals that are sustainable alternatives to petrochemicals. Their platform approach has wide-reaching capabilities as it can target and produce a wide variety of products such as green surfactants, biofuels, lubricants, scaffolding materials to name a few.

For some context, in our estimates, the chemical and materials industry as a whole is responsible for 30% of the total global GHG emissions. Petrochemical production specifically is responsible for 2.4% of the annual GHG emissions, or 1 Gigaton every year. This is due to fossil-fuel energy inputs, unfavorable chemistry kinetics, as well as unsustainable input material supply chains (ie petrochemicals). As personal care product makers go green, surfactants are at the center of their efforts. Cleansers, lotions, and cosmetics all need surfactants to mix oils and water— either to hold the formulations together or to provide dirt-and-grease-removing power. But many surfactants today are synthetic or semisynthetic. In response to a customer base that is increasingly concerned about sustainability, major brands are pledging to cut their carbon emissions and eliminate fossil-derived carbon in their products. Chemical firms are responding with bio-based surfactants and ways to make existing products from biomass feedstocks. Khepra’s technology can produce a large variety of chemical compounds at a highly cost-competitive price. Khepra’s current plan is to use biomass waste streams, such as from agricultural sources and/or from paper mills, to create products that include lignin-based surfactants, carbon-negative soil additives from proteins, starches, and cellulose. In the long term, the goal is to use plant-based and plastic-based feedstocks to produce value- added products, be a producer of chemicals in the short term and supply equipment to others down the road.

The market cap for some of their target industries is:

Agrochemicals — $246B with 3.4% CAGR
○ Soil Amendment — Humic acids ($250M), Carbon credits ($261B)

Recycled Thermoplastics — $45B with 9.5% CAGR
○ Cellulose esters — Urethane ($70B), bioplastics ($9B)

Green Surfactants — $2.5B with 5.6% CAGR
○ CML — green surfactants ($2.5B), Total surfactants market ($4B)

  • Fuel Additives — $8.62B with 5.9% CAGR
  • Green Lubricants — $2.6B with 5% CAGR
  • Tissue Scaffolding — $1.2B with a 9% CAGR

In a nutshell, Khepra has the ability to create carbon-neutral and/or carbon-negative chemicals which gives it a massive edge in this market.



Kunal Sethi

Cancer Survivor, Climate nerd & Longevity obsessed: Prithvi Ventures & Ayuh Ventures