When it comes to climate change, there are two primary strategies to offset greenhouse gas emissions. One requires the world to embrace more sustainable practices and reduce our carbon footprint. The other, however, acknowledges that these efforts alone won’t be enough, and thus, takes a different approach. It involves being proactive and leveraging the latest technologies to design reverse current trends. Often referred to as clean tech, many startups focusing on climate change are taking this latter perspective. And several of these climate change companies deserve our attention.
Startups focusing on climate change are exploring a variety of possible ways to curb carbon emissions. Some are creating methods to extract and capture carbon dioxide from the air and atmosphere. Others are introducing biological and chemical solutions to reduce carbon levels. And some climate change companies are investing in technologies that turn carbon into useful fuels and products. The spectrum of innovation among these clean tech startups is quite broad as well as fascinating. The following lists some of the more impressive ones certain to be a part of the climate change solution.
- Project Vesta – Among the startups focusing on climate change, this one has a very unique approach. It’s interested in coastal carbon capture by placing volcanic rock along coastal sea areas. (Read more about the challenges facing coastal areas and their sustainable development solutions in this Bold story.) The rock, known as olivine, accelerates the natural carbon dioxide removal process from the atmosphere. Plus, it also alkalinizes oceans in the process, enhancing survival of coral reefs. This makes it quite intriguing among climate change companies.
- Global Thermostat – Based in New York, Global Thermostat has raised over $42 million in addition to partnering with Exxon-Mobil. It is one of the startups focusing on climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air. But it can also remove it from industrial factories on-site and turn it into usable carbon byproducts. In fact, its modules can remove up to 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. It hopes to scale its capabilities through its partnership with Exxon-Mobil.
- Newlight – There a few climate change companies that are using carbon negative techniques to make products. In other words, their production processes absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Newlight does exactly that while creating a host of bioplastics, concrete and other construction building materials. It actually uses these bioplastics and products to create fashion and foodwares. Newlight has branded its products by the name “Air Carbon.”
- Carbon Engineering – This is one of the Canadian startups focusing on climate change that has already raised $68 million in funding. Like other climate change companies, it too pulls carbon dioxide from the air. However, it does so through the use of special chemicals. The facilities created by Carbon Engineering can remove 1 million tons of carbon dioxide from the air per year. This is about the equivalent of 40 million trees by comparison.
- Prometheus – Prometheus takes a different approach as a startup focusing on climate change. Its Titan Fuel Forge machine pulls carbon dioxide and water from the air, which is not that unique. But it then exposes it to electricity made from solar and wind technologies. The end result is actual carbon-based fuels that are created using a net-zero carbon process. In essence, its one of the climate change companies creating usable gas from thin air.
- Charm Industrial – Some startups focusing on climate change capture and store carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But Charm Industrial does it through a process known as pyrolysis. This process allows it to convert carbon biomass into a carbon-rich, thick liquid that can then be pumped deep underground. Thus, not only do their plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air, but it effectively removes it for good. Potentially, this liquid may also have some important uses to be determined in the future.
- Visolis – This California-based company is well recognized among climate change companies. As a result, it enjoys several key partners around the globe. Using synthetic biology, Visolis produces carbon-eating microbes and a variety of bio-based chemicals. These are then used to create specialty materials from waste biomass and carbon dioxide using a carbon-negative process. Like Newlight, their specialty products cover a wide range of goods.
- Ocean-Based Climate Solutions – Some startups focusing on climate change tend to take a more naturalistic approach. Ocean-Based Climate Solutions is one of these climate change companies. Using the power of ocean waves, the company provides water pumps that stirs up ocean waters. In the process, this stimulates the growth of phytoplankton, which enhances carbon dioxide removal. At the same time, this also creates more food for aquatic life, which boosts overall food security for all.
- Climeworks – Based in Switzerland, Climeworks is another one of the climate change companies using direct air capture of carbon dioxide. In essence, the company has created a very large filter that bonds to carbon dioxide, removing it from ambient air. Named Orca, the company’s direct air capture plants traps carbon dioxide and then stores it deep underground as carbonate salts. Its most recent plant has been built in Iceland.
- Carbon Collect – Other climate change companies are similarly interested in sequestering carbon dioxide and storing it underground. Carbon Collect has achieved this by creating mechanical tree machines that can capture 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide per day. Reportedly, its full-scale plants to sequester as much as 4 million tons per year. Unlike other startups focusing on climate change, Carbon Collect recycles its stored carbon products. These can then be used as fuels, foodstuffs, building materials, and agricultural products.
Innovative Solutions Through Climate Change Technology
The climate change companies listed here are just a few startups focusing on climate change today. And certainly, others will follow, offering other innovative solutions to deal with these issues. As seen, there are a number of intriguing approaches that these companies offer in dealing with carbon emissions. Combined with reduces carbon production and sustainability practices, these strategies hold great promise. It’s thanks to these types of businesses the light at the end of the tunnel is look ever so brighter. Their bold commitment to solving the climate change problem should inspire us all to be a part of the solution.