With an EU grant of €43 million and €1.2 million from a VC, this startup plans to turn carbon emissions into gold – TechCrunch

The global problem of excess CO2 in the atmosphere persists and a huge area to address given the amount being pumped out by industry. It is hoped that if carbon dioxide could be converted to emissions, we could tackle the climate crisis much faster and create a sustainable carbon economy.

There are a few companies that are trying to address this. Zurich-based Climeworks removes CO2 from the air through commercial carbon dioxide removal technology and has raised $784 million to date. US-based Lanzatech is doing something similar, turning carbon into a feedstock. It has raised $310.4 million.

Now Copenhagen-based BioTech company SecondCircle thinks it has a new approach too.

It claims to be able to capture CO2 from industrial emitters at the point of emission using ‘synthetic biology’ to develop biocatalysts (bacteria). These then convert the carbon dioxide into chemical compounds that are then sold to industry. If it can be scaled up, it could even turn emissions into a revenue opportunity.

The company has now closed a €1.2 million Pre-Seed Round led by Berlin-based early stage investor Atlantic Labs. But there’s a lot more to play with than that. It also has an EU grant of €43 million to scale up the process, as it is part of a consortium that has received funding from the EU research and innovation program Horizon 2020. The project, dubbed “PyroCO2”, aims to demonstrate the large-scale conversion of industrial carbon emissions into value-added chemicals and materials.

Founders of SecondCircle

Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen, co-founder and CEO of SecondCircle said in a statement: “We are convinced that we can only solve the global CO2 problem by developing new approaches to sustainable value creation from unavoidable emissions.”

Synthetic biology technology is already beginning to be widely applied in a number of areas. SecondCircle emerged from the Biosustain NNF Center for Biosustainability of the Danish Technical University. Founded in 2020 and based in Copenhagen, the company is led by founding team Alex Toftgaard Nielsen, Stephanie Redl, Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen.

“By capturing carbon at source and converting it into highly valuable products, SecondCircle has the potential to reduce customer emissions while revolutionizing the unit economy of carbon capture by finally having a profitable use case. It was a no-brainer for us to support this team,” said Max Kufner, Principal at Atlantic Labs.


This post With an EU grant of €43 million and €1.2 million from a VC, this startup plans to turn carbon emissions into gold – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/10/with-a-e43m-eu-grant-and-e1-2m-from-a-vc-this-startup-plans-to-turn-co2-emissions-into-gold/”

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