Climate change innovative solutions are provided with a fresh financial boost this week. The carbon removal startup Heirloom Carbon Technologies announced Thursday its Series A round of funding that closed with a $53 million investment to fuel its further growth.
The new cash is provided by green-technology backers like Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund and Carbon Direct. Back in May 2021, Heirloom announced it has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from major investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, and Prelude Ventures.
In addition, the startup has secured funding from the purchase of carbon removal from the payment processing company Stripe. It plans to buy nearly 250 tons of CO2 removal at the price of $2,054 per ton with the understanding that the cost will come down rapidly as the technology is scaled up. The goal of Heirloom is to bring prices down to as little as $50 a ton to be able to secure more backers willing to pay for its service.
The company’s technology works as it uses limestone, which is mostly calcium tied up with carbon dioxide, to capture more CO2 out of the air. The process starts with the limestone being heated at temperatures of 400 to 900 ˚C in an electricity-driven kiln powered by renewable energy.
The CO2 is released from the process and free from fossil-fuel impurities so it can easily be captured, compressed, and injected underground. The leftover material is calcium oxide that can be spread out in thin layers across sheets on the surface.
The celsius oxide is highly reactive and eager to bond with CO2 from the air, so it captures more CO2, normally over months or years. With some enhancements, the company can shrink the process down to a week. Once calcium carbonate is created, the cycle is repeated 15 times or so before the material isn’t able to effectively capture the gas.
The investment from prominent backers will provide the company with the needed resources to continue further research and deploy its technology. A widespread high-quality carbon removal deployment is essential for the world to be able to take away 10 gigatons of CO2 per year by mid-century to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.