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Carbon Capture Inc closes USD35m Series A funding

Carbon Capture (CarbonCapture), a climate tech company that makes machines that remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere, has closed a USD35 million Series A funding round and appointed Adrian Corless as CEO. 

CarbonCapture will use the funds to accelerate product development efforts and to establish initial deployments of its renewable energy-powered Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems in locations throughout the U.S., starting with the Tamarack Nickel Project in central Minnesota in partnership with Rio Tinto PLC (LSE: RIO) and Talon Metals Corp. (TSX: TLO).

Analyses by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that humanity must remove billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere in order to keep global warming to less than 2°C. To address this urgent need, CarbonCapture has developed a set of technical innovations that enable, for the first time, the use of zeolites for capturing CO2 as part of a commercial DAC system. A class of molecular sieves, zeolites are inorganic, inexpensive, long-lasting, and non-toxic. Moreover, they are already manufactured in very large quantities for multiple industrial applications, eliminating a major barrier to economically scaling DAC to gigaton levels.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead CarbonCapture,” says Corless. “This funding, in combination with our transformative technology, world-class team, and top-tier commercial partners, provides us with all of the necessary ingredients to quickly become the leading DAC company in the US.” Corless was formerly CEO of Canadian DAC company Carbon Engineering, where he successfully piloted the firm’s technology and built the company into a recognised leader in atmospheric carbon capture and synthetic fuels production.

Prime Movers Lab led the Series A investment. Also participating in the round was international mining and metals company Rio Tinto, Idealab Studio, Idealab X, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, and several additional VC firms and family offices. Equity financing raised by CarbonCapture since inception now totals more than USD43 million.

“By 2050, DAC companies will capture upwards of five to 10 gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. We are honoured to participate in the very early stages of a new USD500 billion plus industry,” says Brandon Simmons, general partner at Prime Movers Lab. “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.”

“Removing carbon from our atmosphere is one of the most effective and important ways to fight climate change,” says Marc Benioff. “Carbon Capture Inc. represents the spirit of innovation we need to solve our climate crisis, harnessing next-generation technologies to take carbon out of the atmosphere and avert the worst effects of climate change.”

In addition to being designed to use renewable energy sources, including solar and geothermal, a unique aspect of CarbonCapture’s DAC machines is that they are highly tuneable. For example, for each ton of CO2 captured from air, they can be set to also capture between 1 and 5 tons of pure water, which is particularly valuable in arid or drought-affected regions. Further, CO2 output purity can be lowered to align with storage strategies that do not require food-grade purity, such as injection into building materials, mine tailings, or geologic formations that mineralise CO2.

CarbonCapture is partnering with companies that are developing cutting-edge approaches to storing carbon in mineral form through natural chemical reactions. The company’s first deployments will be with Rio Tinto and Talon Metals, with feasibility studies beginning in Q4 2021 at the Tamarack Nickel Project in central Minnesota.

“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,” says Nigel Steward, Chief Scientist at Rio Tinto. “We look forward to working with CarbonCapture to explore the potential for permanently mineralising and storing CO2 at Rio Tinto’s sites, which may also offer new commercial opportunities.”

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