Sustaera raises $10 million for direct air capture tech

Dec 19 2021

Sustaera will use the investment to accelerate its research and development program and build its first pilot plant.

Sustaera’s DAC system is uniquely powered by carbon-free energy and differentiated by use of abundantly available natural minerals repurposed as carbon dioxide capture sorbents, as well as use of a modular component design to allow Sustaera to rapidly scale this technology using existing supply chains and manufacturing infrastructure. These benefits combined with significantly lower land requirements than land-based or natural CO2 capture methods, makes Sustaera a true pioneer of DAC 2.0.

“Sustaera plans to offer commercial DAC systems starting at 10 tons per day that can be multiplied to create facilities capable of capturing thousands of tons of carbon dioxide per day, with a goal of removing 500 million tons cumulatively over the next 20 years,” said Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Agarwal.

The Sustaera team is comprised of engineers who have experience building both small and commercial scale carbon capture plants in the past. Sustaera’s sorbent can be regenerated with renewable electricity at lower temperatures, thus significantly reducing the amount of energy required which often represents more than half of the total capture cost. Sustaera plans to initially sell credits in the voluntary market with Stripe as its first customer, and is in early discussions with several interested stakeholders.

“Sustaera’s Direct Air Capture technology is based on more than 100 person-years of R&D and technology scaleup experience in material science, sorbent chemistry, process design and engineering, and sorbent manufacturing,“ said Dr. Raghubir Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, who has worked on the development and commercialization of several carbon capture and utilization technologies over the last 30 years. “We are excited to play an impactful role in capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide at scale to restore the planet’s temperature.”

Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, said, “Sustaera's technology is positioned to accelerate the deployment of cost-efficient DAC globally using existing supply chains. This is the type of solution we look for, designed to scale quickly and provide a viable economic negative emission pathway.”

Kevin Tidwell, managing director at Grantham Environmental Trust, said in the announcement that, “We operate with a ‘Race of our Lives’ mindset where every small fraction of a degree will really matter. The Sustaera team, with their daily obsessions to find ways to cost-effectively reach a scale, as soon as possible, gives us great hope. We are grateful for their partnership.”

“We applaud Sustaera’s important work on carbon dioxide removal,” said Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “And we’re excited that DOE’s seed investment is helping to advance their innovative DAC system, which has the potential to ultimately capture millions of tons of carbon dioxide.”

Sustaera is currently recruiting mechanical, electrical, chemical, process engineers, material scientists, chemists, and entrepreneurial business majors to support its growth.


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Issue 84 - Nov - Dec 2021

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