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February 15, 2024 47 mins

50% of the global food supply relies on nitrogen fertilizer, which emits tons of greenhouse gasses. But startup Nitricity is making electrified climate-smart fertilizer by literally capturing lightning in reactors. Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Pinkowski joins the podcast to share the startup’s remarkable origin story from a make-shift lab in a Stanford backyard, to a full-fledged company revolutionizing agriculture and the future of our food supply.

Hear how Nico went from engineer to entrepreneur, testing ideas on lemon trees and destroying a few toasters in the process, on Consensus in Conversation streaming now wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Episode Highlights

  • 00:00 Nicolas Pinkowski destroys a toaster in the name of science
  • 00:51 Conor Gaughan introduces Nico Pinkowski and Nitricity 
  • 03:49 Growing up, Stanford engineering, and Silicon Valley
  • 13:00 Nitricity’s origin, capturing lightning to decarbonize fertilizer
  • 26:26 Pitching and scaling decarbonized nitrogen fertilizer
  • 35:03 Working with farmers, potential impact, and future growth 
  • 44:06 What’s next and where to learn more
  • 45:33 End credits

If you liked this episode, listen next to Matt Rogers of Mill Industries on Food Waste, Impactful Product Design, and Innovation

More on Nitricity and Nicolas Pinkowski:

Connect with Conor Gaughan on and 

Have questions, or a great idea for a potential guest? Email us at

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Consensus in Conversation is a podcast by Consensus Digital Media produced in association with Reasonable Volume.

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