New Startup Graphyte Says It Removes CO2 For Less Than $100 Per Ton

New Carbon Removal Startup Graphyte Officially Launched Nov 13th - Carbon Herald

Graphyte – a climate-tech startup backed and incubated by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), announced it has officially launched on November 13th, 2023. The company is involved in an innovative approach of carbon dioxide removal known as “carbon casting” or biomass burial that prevents CO2 locked in biomass residues from escaping back into the atmosphere. 

It is one of the cutting-edge climate tech companies in the portfolio of Breakthrough Energy Ventures that has raised more than $2 billion in committed capital to advance more than 90 technologies that provide promising breakthroughs in the energy transition.

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The startup was founded by BEV partner Chris Rivest, who brought in co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Barclay Rogers to commercialize the technology.

“He and I started going back and forth on such an approach of trying to make the most of the carbon within the biomass and then determine ways to ensure that it’s not re-released… And through those collaborative discussions, Graphyte was born,” commented Mr Rogers for Bloomberg.

Credit: lev radin | Shutterstock

Graphyte provides a new approach to biomass burial. It involves collecting readily available biomass like residues from timber and farming operations that would have been otherwise left to decay. The company dries and compresses it into dense carbon blocks protected by an environmentally safe, impermeable barrier. It then stores these blocks underground in engineered storage sites. 

According to the company’s announcement, the carbon within the blocks is expected to be locked away for 1,000+ years. The storage sites are also monitored by Graphyte with state-of-the-art technology. Another innovation is the company’s levelized cost of production which is currently below $100 per ton of CO2 – a price that is ahead of the market compared to other engineered carbon removal methods. 

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​The energy requirements are also minimal or a tenth of the energy of direct air capture, according to Mr Rogers. The process is land-efficient, with the potential of removing 10,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per acre. 

The startup announced it is expected to remove 5,000 tons of CO2 per year by the end of 2023 and targets 50,000 by July 2024.

“By combining the strength of nature-based approaches with the lasting impact of engineered removal, Graphyte has created a unique solution that accelerates progress toward the billions of tons of carbon removal needed to protect our planet… As we work to accelerate the clean energy transition, Carbon Casting provides an opportunity to deliver higher volumes of permanent removals at an affordable price today,” commented Carmichael Roberts, Member at Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

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