As the IPCC report also calls for action on carbon dioxide removal, it is undeniable that humanity must take gigatons of CO2 out of the atmosphere to limit the effects of global warming. Carbon Capture Inc. (CarbonCapture) is a climate technology startup established in 2019 that makes machines for direct air capture, taking care of excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
The company announced on October 19th that it closed a staggering $35 million Series A funding round and it appointed a new CEO – Adrian Corless. The carbon capture company will also partner with Rio Tinto PLC (LSE: RIO) and Talon Metals Corp. (TSX: TLO) for the execution of a pilot program for capturing CO2 with van-sized units at a nickel mine in northern Minnesota.
The pilot program called the Tamarack Nickel Project will be commenced with a feasibility study starting in Q4 2021. Rio Tinto and Talon Metals are contributing with the development of approaches to storing carbon in mineral form through natural chemical reactions.
The recent Series A round will help the company to accelerate product development efforts and establish initial deployments of the Tamarack Nickel Project as well as other projects throughout the US.
The carbon capture investment round was led by The Prime Movers Lab. Participating were Rio Tinto, Idealab Studio, Idealab X, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, and several additional VC firms and family offices. The total equity financing raised by CarbonCapture so far comes at more than $43 million.
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“Our investment in CarbonCapture shows Rio Tinto’s commitment to supporting innovative technologies that can make a meaningful contribution to addressing the climate change challenge…We look forward to working with CarbonCapture to explore the potential for permanently mineralizing and storing CO2 at Rio Tinto’s sites, which may also offer new commercial opportunities,” said Nigel Steward, Chief Scientist at Rio Tinto.
“By 2050, DAC companies will capture upwards of 5 to 10 gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. We are honored to participate in the very early stages of a new $500 billion plus industry…We identified Carbon Capture Inc. as having the winning tech and team in the field, and we are thrilled to partner with Adrian Corless and Bill Gross and provide the capital to scale this critical enterprise,” said Brandon Simmons, general partner at Prime Movers Lab.
CarbonCapture also recently appointed Adrian Corless to lead the company. He was a former CEO of another DAC company Carbon Engineering – a well-known carbon capture technology name. His role is to build the company into a recognized leader in atmospheric carbon capture and synthetic fuels production.
According to Mr. Corless, the company’s funding in combination with its transformative technology and top-tier commercial partners will provide it with the necessary ingredients to excel at the market.
What differentiates CarbonCapture from other companies is that it is the first to use zeolites for capturing CO2 as part of a commercial DAC system. Zeolites are a class of molecular sieves, inorganic, non-toxic, inexpensive, and long-lasting.
They are also already manufactured in very large quantities for multiple industrial applications so that removes a major barrier to economically scaling DAC to gigaton levels. Together with its world-class team and carbon capture deals, the startup plans to move forward with its goal of cleaning up the atmosphere from excess emissions.