Verdox, a carbon capture start-up in Massachusetts, has raised $80 million from investors, including Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Increased interest in Verdox is due to a recent breakthrough in their technology.
According to CEO Brian Baynes, it involves a critical material used to trap GHG emissions.
What is carbon capture?
Carbon capture is when carbon is separated from the atmosphere and stored deep within the earth’s surface.
Most technology uses a liquid that attracts carbon like a magnet.
This takes a lot of time, energy, and, quite frankly, money.
Many do not feel it is an efficient or cost-effective way to reach net-zero.
How is Verdox’s technology different?
Verdox has developed a new plastic that can pull carbon from the air when charged with electricity. This could cut the total energy usage for direct air capture by more than 70% – which is a big deal.
Verdox hopes this technology will enable millions of tons of carbon to be captured at $50 per/tonne or less.
It is important to note that Verdox’s technology is still only operable at the lab scale.
What are carbon credits?
Carbon credits are permits that companies can buy to emit more carbon than regulated.
Each carbon credit represents an environmental project that helps offset carbon in the atmosphere.
One carbon credit = one metric ton of carbon.
So, carbon credits are different than carbon capture because carbon capture takes carbon out of the atmosphere (while credits just offset it).
Carbon credits have reached an all-time high of $851 billion. Much of that growth is due to the EU’s Emissions Trading System, now trading over 90 Euros per ton.
Verdox is now competing with Canada’s Carbon Engineering Ltd. and Switzerland’s Climeworks AG – which have raised more than $100 million each.
U.S. based Global Thermostat is another competitor.