Lead Organic Chemist

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Banyu Carbon is a fast-paced research and technology development startup located on the campus of a major research university. Banyu Carbon aims to radically reduce the cost of carbon capture, hasten the transition to a net zero carbon economy, and slow the effects of global warming. To meet these challenges, Banyu Carbon is developing a process to extract CO2 from seawater using light-activated chemicals that is projected to use a fraction of the energy of competing approaches. Gain experience in a startup that is bringing science to market. Put your passion for the planet and science to work at Banyu Carbon and join us!

Summary: We seek a highly motivated and creative organic chemist, or scientist with similar skills, to develop and optimize organic photoactive molecules for use in our carbon capture process. The individual must be passionate about applying chemical principles to uncover structure-function relationships in photoactive compounds to optimize organic molecule performance. The candidate should have experience with and be comfortable with lab-scale organic synthesis. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with a small team of scientists and engineers to advance our carbon capture technology from concept to deployment.      

Salary: A minimum base starting salary of $125,000 per year is expected, with higher starting salaries possible based on skills and experience level.                                        

Position Type: This is an in-person regular full-time position located in Seattle, WA.

Desired Start Date: As soon as possible.

Location: Banyu Carbon is located within CoMotion Labs on the beautiful campus of the University of Washington. This setting unites the fast paced and exciting environment of a startup with the thriving intellectual community and advanced instrumentation of a major research university. A light rail station, recreational sports facilities, the Burke-Gilman bike trail, and the Lake Washington Waterfront are all within a half mile of the company’s office and lab space. A transit pass with unlimited rides and membership at the university’s recreational sports facility are included in current company benefits. This is an in-person position located in Seattle, WA. Seattle is a thriving and dynamic city situated between the snowcapped Cascade Mountains and the waters of Puget Sound.

Benefits: Banyu Carbon is proud to offer employees a competitive total compensation package as well as a comprehensive benefits program designed to support the whole lives of our employees and their families. Current benefits include: 

  • 401(k) with 6% employer match
  • Stock options
  • Medical, vision, and dental coverage
  • 15 days of paid time off per year in addition to paid sick time
  • 13 additional paid holidays annually, including 11 federal and state holidays and 2 floating holidays to recognize cultural, religious, or personally significant events.
  • Relocation assistance (negotiable)
  • Transit pass that includes unlimited light rail and bus trips
  • Recreational sports facility membership reimbursement

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Use a knowledge of electronic and stereoelectronic effects to modify functional groups on photoactive conjugated heterocyclic molecules to adjust their properties and reactivity (pKa, quantum yield, hydrolytic stability, solubility, etc.).
  • Parse out the interplay between competing effects on small molecule properties and performance.
  • Synthesize target small molecules in mg to g quantities.
  • Conduct molecular structure and purity determination using UV-VIS spectrophotometry, NMR, LCMS, &/or GCMS.
  • Develop and clearly document methods of development and production in the written laboratory book and electronic documents.
  • Utilize expertise, creativity, problem solving, and scientific leadership to optimize organic molecule performance.
  • Provide scientific insight and effectively communicate and collaborate with a team of scientists and engineers to advance our carbon capture technology.
  • Lead and conduct research projects with a commitment to the highest levels of safety and integrity. This includes understanding and adhering to EH&S standards, policies, and procedures, to promote safe work habits.
  • Mentor and manage people for performance and scientific growth.
  • Assist with the development of research facilities through contributions to design, purchasing decisions, assembly, testing, and trouble shooting.
  • Find, apply, and communicate relevant advances from the scientific literature. 

Key Qualifications and Competencies:

  • A PhD in chemistry or related field with significant background in organic chemistry and organic synthesis. Post-doctoral or industry experience is preferred.
  • Highly proficient in modern chemistry techniques, including theory, design, synthesis, isolation, purification, and analysis.
  • Demonstrated expertise in organic chemistry through published work or patents on the principles governing structure-function relationships, synthesis, photochemistry, and/or organic chemistry methodology.
  • Strong sense of project ownership with hands-on and can-do attitude. 
  • Creative self-starter that is interested in solving problems without a pre-defined answer.
  • Familiar with statistical data analysis and design of experiment methodologies. 
  • Excellent understanding of chemical safety and ethical research processes.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills – able to disseminate information at internal and external technical forums 
  • Good interpersonal skills, including working with cross-functional teams 
  • Additional skills: integrative thinking, results-oriented, high self-awareness, strong mentoring ability, flexible & adaptable 
  • Current authorization to work in the US and ability to relocate to the Seattle, WA USA area. 

Competitive candidates will also have experience with several of the following:

  • Extensive experience with UV-Vis spectrophotometry and NMR spectroscopy.
  • Familiarity with the principles of photochemistry as applied to organic reactions.
  • Familiarity with experimental determination of organic reaction kinetics.
  • Experience with LC-MS.
  • Familiarity with polymer chemistry.


  • 10-15% travel may be required 

Physical Requirements: 

  • Will sit, stand, or walk short distances for up to the entire duration of a shift 
  • Will climb stairs on an occasional basis 
  • Will lift, push, or pull up to 27 pounds on an occasional basis 
  • Required to use hands to grasp, lift, handle, carry or feel objects on a frequent basis 
  • Ability to work inside a fume hood for extended periods of time, which includes reaching into and conducting complex mechanical operations with dexterity.
  • Must be able to comply with all safety standards and procedures
  • Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time, which includes typing, viewing data, and manipulating documents and data.
  • May reach above shoulder heights and below the waist on a frequent basis 
  • May stoop, kneel, or bend, on an occasional basis 
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment is required (including but not limited to: nitrile gloves, lab coat, safety glasses, hearing protection)

Potential candidates will meet the education and experience requirements provided on the above job description and excel in completing the listed responsibilities for this role. The successful candidate will be required to pass a background check and must not be excluded from participation in federal programs.

Banyu Carbon is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law.  

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, and as an integral part of its public health and safety measures, Banyu Carbon requires that all newly-hired employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before commencing employment, subject to reasonable accommodation and other requirements of applicable federal, state, and local law.