September’s big carbontech funding announcements

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In this business-focused episode of Carbon Removal Newsroom, we’re discussing the major carbontech funding announcements that occurred throughout September, along with the news from Norway’s $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund that they’ll be requiring their portfolio holdings to go net-zero.

This episode is hosted by Radhika Moolgavkar, Nori’s Head of Supply and Methodology, along with Holly Jean Buck, Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo. Plus, give a warm welcome to our new co-host for business-focused episodes: Susan Su, partner focused on climate investing at Toba Capital and course creator for Climate Change for VCs, a course and community through terra.do.

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We start the episode by discussing the news from Norway’s sovereign fund: with $1.4 trillion of assets, this fund is the world’s largest single holder of stocks, and is the latest pool of investment money using its influence to decarbonize the economy. The fund currently holds a position in several of the world’s largest oil companies, so achieving ‘net-zero’ may necessitate use of carbon offsets and carbon removal. 

Meanwhile in the carbontech start-up world, the sustainable chemicals company Solugen announced $357 million of new investment in a venture round lead by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund as well as Blackrock, Carbon Direct, and others. Solugen makes chemicals out of sugars, as opposed to the fossil fuel inputs traditionally used by the highly emitting chemical industry. In the future, the company aims to use CO2 as a feedstock, potentially creating a vast new market for CO2 utilization.

Also in September, Prometheus Fuels announced a $1.5 billion valuation after a series B funding round led by shipping giant Maersk and BMW. Prometheus aims to sell ‘electro-fuels’ by capturing CO2 directly from the atmosphere, mixing it with water, and then using proprietary catalysts and filters to restructure the chemical bonds to create hydrocarbons. They also say their product will be cheaper than fossil fuels very soon.

Also, Droneseed’s $36 Million A valuation is more evidence that the carbontech space is hot.

On September 8th, Swiss company Climeworks held a launch event for their new Direct Air Capture facility named Orca in Hellisheidi, Iceland. Orca is now the world’s largest DAC plant and plans to capture and permanently sequester 4000 tons of CO2 per year, and turn it into basaltic rock.

Charm Industrial announced the delivery of 1000 tons of permanent carbon removal ahead of schedule using their bio-oil technology.

Finally, Holly Buck finishes the episode with a good news story of the week.

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