A United Kingdom company known for its revolutionary techniques that allow it to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful chemical products has made headlines for raising $3.5 million.
ViridiCO2’s seed funding – led by Stockholm-founded VC EQT Ventures – comes at a time global leaders are racing against time to cut down on carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.
According to a report that appeared on FinSMEs, plans to channel the funds into research and development (R&D) to help ViridiCO2 commercialize this groundbreaking CCU technology.
ViridiCO2 To Lead The Fight Against Climate Change
The global chemical industry – valued at $5 trillion – is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution, with the industry’s existence profoundly reliant on fossil fuels used to produce petrochemicals.
For the chemical industry to work within the targets of the Paris Agreement and cut on excessive production of greenhouse gases, combined emissions from all players must be reduced by 45% by 2030.
The Paris Agreement on climate change also stipulates that the industry should have eliminated greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming by 2050.
However, it is easier said than done, as key players face major obstacles in the pathway to cutting down these emissions, including keeping up with a growing demand for plastics and petrochemicals.
How ViridiCO2’s Technology Converts CO2 To Usable Chemical Products
CCU technology works by first activating carbon dioxide, which is known for being extremely unstable. The CO2 in use would ideally have been tapped from chemical plants’ waste gas stream.
The technology carries a series of chemical conversions, with the end products coming out in form of circular elements that are useful in the manufacture of key end-user goods such as washing detergent.
The technology allows industrial users to instantly decrease their reliance on petrochemicals, which are derived from fossil fuels by 50%, and instead use CO2 taken from the atmosphere.
Energy consumption is also cut down significantly because manufacturers no longer need to power the entire chemical process. With this, producers will be closer to achieving a circular economy.
ViridiCO2’s technology hails from the University of Southampton under the leadership of Dr Daniel Stewart and his PhD research.
“Using our technology by the high emitting chemicals industry reduces the reliance on fossil-fuel petrochemical-based materials and valorizes the waste CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, further contributing to the climate crisis,” Stewart said in a statement.
Stewart further argues that climate change has recently been a wake-up call to many businesses that are realizing sustainable production is “the fulcrum of their corporate strategy rather than an add-on.” His statement continues:
“Our technology truly helps these heavy emitting manufacturers transition towards a circular economy, reduce scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions and enable the first ‘carbon-positive plastics’ to hit the market.”
ViridiCO2 will use this $3.5 million seed fund to accelerate and commercialize its CO2 conversion technology.
The near-term goal is to advance the technology to TRL7 – a revolutionary prototype to be used for demonstration purposes, specifically designed to simulate an operational environment.
In the long run, ViridiCO2 will work closely with manufacturers to scale up the technology to match demand and supply dynamics in the market.
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