CarbonCapture raises $ 35 million to fight climate change

The biggest contributor to global warming, carbon dioxide is at its highest level in our atmosphere than at any point in the past 8,000 years. And as automakers and politicians race to find solutions, a Pasadena-based company called CarbonCapture has a bold plan to help humans remove emissions from the air and, in so doing, innovate to fight change. climate.

“We are at a tipping point and at the moment we are running out of time,” said Adrian Corless, CEO of CarbonCapture. “What really scares me are the current projections that we will continue to increase emissions until 2035.”

CarbonCapture on Tuesday raised a $ 35 million Series A to expand its team and begin deploying a network of machines that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using renewable energy. The system works by trapping carbon molecules in the air and storing them to be broken down or released safely elsewhere, such as underground.


The company aims to have prototypes of operational devices within two years. Capturing and dissipating carbon dioxide from the air on a global scale has not yet been possible, and it’s a higher aspiration to solve climate change than some other more common land-based solutions – like using less fuel. fossils or limit energy consumption.

To truly work at the highest level, every country would have to use a large number of CarbonCapture devices to remove carbon dioxide on a large scale. It’s a challenge, but Corless said he believes it is possible to create new technologies to help us escape the damage caused by climate change.

“There are all kinds of industries that are growing and delivering things like this,” he said. “The solar industry was a prime example, it took a few decades, but they are capable of delivering hundreds of millions of panels a year (now).”

Several other companies, including Climeworks, Global Thermostat and Canada-based Carbon Engineering, where Corless was previously CEO, are working to solve this problem of removing carbon dioxide from the air. Government incentives are a critical way to engage private business, Corless said, and they are more common now in “progressive parts of the world” like the United States, Canada and the EU.

Carbon neutrality tax breaks “will take you a long way to solve a problem and integrate a huge industry,” Corless said, but noted that it would be difficult to get other countries with high emissions like China, Russia, Brazil and India. on board.

CarbonCapture was launched at Bill Gross IdeaLab’s Pasadena startup incubator in 2019. Since then, it has raised over $ 43 million to date. Gross is co-founder and chairman of CarbonCapture as well as leading Heliogen, a Pasadena-based energy company that strives to replace fossil fuels with solar power.

The increase was led by Prime Movers Lab. Two Idealab funds – Idealab Studio and Idealab X – have joined the round table alongside Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who has invested through his company TIME Ventures, as has international mining company Rio Tinto, a new investor who will use the prototype devices at its Minnesota mine site. .

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that although more people stayed at home during the global coronavirus pandemic, the world has still reached new record levels of carbon dioxide in 2020 – and since 2000, levels of carbon dioxide carbon increased by 12%.

“We’re really in a scary time in Earth’s history right now, so there’s a consensus that we need to change the narrative, we need to cut emissions,” Corless said.

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