Test Technician, Pyrolysis

Number of employees


San Francisco, CA, United States

Posted on: 2023-07-27

Category: renewables

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

Charm Industrial is working to return the atmosphere to 280 ppm CO₂. We design, build and operate a fleet of mobile fast pyrolyzers that convert ag and forest biomass residues into bio-oil for use in carbon removal and direct-reduced-iron steelmaking.

In 2020 our Chief Scientist and co-founder Shaun Meehan had two breakthroughs (bio-oil intermediate and bio-oil sequestration) that kickstarted the company. Within 10 months we completed our first carbon removal injection and in 2021 we completed more than 5,000 tons of CO₂e removal for customers like Stripe, Shopify and Microsoft. 

About Charm

Our mission is to reverse climate change and return the atmosphere to 280 ppm CO₂, profitably. We convert waste biomass into carbon-rich bio-oil and inject it into permanent, underground storage as carbon removal, or reform the bio-oil to produce syngas for fossil-free steel.

Our carbon removal pathway took off in 2020 with initial purchases from customers like Stripe, Shopify & Microsoft. In 2021 and 2022 we delivered thousands of tons of carbon removal via off-the-shelf pathways, and also deployed our first R&D prototype pyrolyzer of our own. In the next 18 months, we'll build and deploy the next pyrolyzer revision, demonstrate our fossil-free ironmaking pilot, substantially expand our operations in Colorado and put thousands of tonnes of CO₂e underground.

We're looking to expand our team of ambitious creative and hands-on engineers, fabricators, operators, and forward-thinking humans. We value psychological safety and collaboration. We take calculated risks and don't sweep mistakes under the rug; instead, we pin them to the wall and learn from them. We value that everyone’s unique backgrounds and perspectives shape their work. We encourage you to read our company values.

Come help us reverse climate change. Gigatons or bust!

About the Role 

As a Test Technician at our San Francisco Minifactory, you’ll be on a team that is responsible for testing both pyrolyzer components and full pyrolysis systems, targeted towards optimizing our bio oil production and better understanding the complex physics and chemistry at work. Working with fellow Charmers, vendors, and occasional third parties, you’ll be directly contributing to iterative testing - a key part of our fight against climate change!  This role will report to our Test Engineer in San Francisco, where you will be responsible for operating and maintaining machinery including novel component-level test rigs and our full bio-oil producing systems. You’re a great candidate for this role if you have experience with equipment management, maintenance, and operation, and are an excellent communicator/creative problem solver. The ideal candidate is safety-minded, proactive, mechanically confident, and is able to effectively prioritize multiple tasks on a day-to-day basis.

What We Offer

· Stock options
· Medical and dental insurance
· Traditional and Roth 401k
· Paid parental leave managed through Cocoon
- A yearly professional development stipend
· Healthy snacks and lunches
· A sweet workplace (both SF Minifactory and CO Miniforge!) with lots of space inside and out
· A chance to pivot into a role in climate!

Visa Sponsorship Policy

Since we are a small startup, certain accommodations for visa sponsorship may not be within our capability. At this time, Charm Industrial is only sponsoring E3 and TN visas.

Our Commitment

Charm Industrial is an equal opportunity employer with a firm commitment to growing our team in an inclusive way, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, medical condition, age, or veteran status. The consequences of climate change inherently affect some more than others, and we need a diverse team to help us save our little planet most effectively & justly. We are excited about all of those who choose to apply, and for those who end up joining us, to see how you better us as a team and company. We are more than the sum of our parts.


  • Operate pyrolyzers and component test rigs to increase understanding and reliability, documenting learnings to share with your fellow test team as you go
  • Serve as the eyes and ears of the test team, providing valuable insight when troubleshooting design and operational challenges
  • Perform routine maintenance on the pyrolyzer and any associated equipment, working with vendors as needed
  • Maintain a safe and clean test area by observing all safety instructions, handling materials with the proper precautions, picking up tools and equipment when not in use, and making suggestions for improvements to safety procedures and practices
  • Use machinery and powered equipment (i.e. forklift, personnel baskets, telehandler,scissor lifts, etc) when required for test preparation or execution
  • Record machine performance data for our Test and Engineering Development teams’ measurement, reporting, and verification efforts
  • Requirements:

  • 3 - 5 years of hands-on experience around machinery and/or heavy equipment
  • Practical experience assembling/disassembling novel/complex mechanical systems
  • The ability to work autonomously and troubleshoot on the job
  • Experience operating forklifts, telehandlers, scissor lifts, and/or a willingness to learn
  • A proactive, professional and “can do” attitude
  • Passion about contributing to our mission and growing the company
  • Must be physically able to climb ladders, bend, or crawl in awkward spaces
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds at a time
  • There may be prolonged periods of standing and walking
  • Bonus (but not required):

  • Experience operating high temperature and/or high pressure systems
  • Familiarity with chemical processing systems and the terminology associated with them
  • Knowledge of electromechanical systems and general electrical troubleshooting skills
  • Basic fabrication skills
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