💨 ClimateHack Vol. 59: The US Government and carbon-removal

PLUS: NATO's €1 billion Innovation Fund

Hey There,

Thanks to everyone who filled out last week’s survey - here’s the top 5 sectors readers are working on:

  1. Food, Agriculture & Land Use (19%) 🚜

  2. Energy (17%) ⚡️

  3. Climate Investing (15%) 💸

  4. Carbon Capture (11%) 💨

  5. Nature Based Solutions (9%) 🌳

Now wouldn’t it be great if you could meet fellow readers in-person to start building connections offline?

Well, good news is that we’ll be hosting a series of ClimateHack meetups in these 12 cities (from NY to Stockholm).

If you want to become the host in your city and bring together your local climate tech ecosystem, apply here - applications close on Tuesday.

In today's edition:

🌭 Dutch cultivated meat startup Meatable raise $35M Series B.
👀 Transition VC, the latest climate fund investing across the Atlantic.
🇺🇸 The US government to start paying companies to remove carbon dioxide.

Digest x Climate

Image Credit: Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

🇺🇸 Interesting: The US government is launching a first-of-its-kind program to pay companies to remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Ted Christie-Miller, Director of Carbon Removal at BeZero Carbon, shares why this is such a big deal.

📈 What’s up? Researchers from Washington University have discovered that wildfires may have even bigger climate impacts than previously thought.

📉 What’s down? Proterra, which develops battery systems for buses and other heavy duty EVs and has been in operation since 2004, filed for bankruptcy this week.

📹 Watch: This short video that gives a high level overview on the current state of geo-engineering and its effects on climate change.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Compact Membrane Systems

🏭 US-based Compact Membrane Systems raised 16.5 million Series A funding for its carbon capture technology that can reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses given off by chemical manufacturing plants by 70% while economically boosting production.

🌴 A research team from the University of Oregon received a $3 million federal grant to study carbon sequestration with Indigenous and rural communities. The study will use Indigenous knowledge, AI and environmental DNA, or large-scale DNA from organisms found in the environment, to guide carbon capture research and implementation.

🌊 Running Tide, based in the US, completed the first-ever open ocean carbon removal for its first customer, Shopify, delivering 100 credits, and is running the world's largest carbon removal research operation in the North Atlantic.

💡 Good Read: Iris ten Have at Extantia Capital explains why carbon utilisation may be a better solution than carbon capture.

Food x Climate

Image Credits: Meatable

🌭 Dutch cultivated meat startup Meatable secured $35 million Series B funding, in a round led by Agronomics, to scale production of its cultivated pork ahead of its plans for commercialisation in Singapore and the US.

🇨🇭 Israeli cultivated meat startup Aleph Farms has filed for regulatory approval in the UK, just days after applying for approval in Switzerland. It plans to begin production in the UK in the next few years and is in discussion with potential commercial partners.

🔬 Shanghai-based CellX announced the completion of China’s first large-scale cultivated meat pilot factory, home to multiple 1,000-litre custom-built bioreactors, and is aiming for a 2025 product launch.

🤝 UK convenience chain One Stop has partnered with Swedish food waste-fighting company Whywaste to roll out its technology across all 1,000 of its stores. TheSaaS solution allows retailers to receive precise product expiration data with smart markdown recommendations, helping to ensure that soon-to-expire products are sold and not wasted.

Materials x Climate

Image Credits: Matter

👕 UK-based Matter raised $10 million for its technology solutions for capturing, harvesting and recycling microplastics. Its new type of reusable filter for washing machines catches microfibres from synthetic clothing before they can reach the sea and disintegrate.

🍄 Californian biomaterials startup MycoWorks is set to open the world’s-first commercial-scale mycelium production plant, which will use its patented Fine Mycelium technology to produce “millions of square feet” of Reishi, its luxury animal-free leather.

🧪 Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a new method to recycle plastics, using an approach called chemical recycling. Instead of industry-standard thermal reprocessing, the new method induces depolymerisation of plastic polymers so that they revert completely back to the much smaller monomer molecules from which they were originally made, and can then be used to create new polymers with similar or better properties than the plastics from which they were derived.

🧼 British material science firm Pangaia and skincare company Haeckels have co-developed a limited-edition soap bar made with C16 Biosciences’ Palmless Torula oil. The bar is scented with natural oils to evoke the smell of rainforests burning down and spotlight how palm oil plantations affect biodiversity.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Kraftblock

🏭 German startup Kraftblock secured €20 million Series B funding for its sustainable thermal storage technology, designed to enable decarbonisation of processes in the energy sector and 'any industries from food to chemicals, paper, ceramic and steel'.

🔋 Stabl Energy, also based in Germany, raised €15 million to give old EV batteries a second life while providing commercial energy storage. Its power conversion technology for commercial and utility-scale battery storage systems helps to offset losses, reduce operating costs and make battery storage systems more accessible and affordable.

💦 Portugal-based CascataChuva is developing “humidity-to-electricity” technology that it claims could “sustainably power a whole household with a single washing machine-sized device”, thanks to its nanomaterial that traps water molecules in the air and forces them to flow through nanoscopic channels, generating an electrical charge.

🇩🇪 Interesting Data: This graphic illustrates Germany’s move away from gas for heating in newly-constructed buildings.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Archer Aviation

🛩 US-based electric air-taxi startup Archer Aviation raised $215 million and resolved its trade secret legal dispute with rival Wisk, as the two companies agreed to collaborate going forwards.

🛵 Leading African electric motorbike manufacturer Spiro secured $63 million from Societe Generale and GuarantCo to “significantly expand” its fleet of electric motorcycles and the associated infrastructure, including batteries and battery swapping stations.

🔋 Melbourne-based electric vehicle technology startup microFleet secured a $500,000 grant from the federal government-backed iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre to help bring its universal charging technology to the global market early next year, including a major potential deal with New York City.

💡 Interesting: Carl Elkin, Staff Software Engineer at Google, talks about Google’s joint announcement this week with American Airlines and Breakthrough Energy that it had “verifiably reduced contrail formation in commercial airline operation”.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Transition

🌎 Transition VC, came out of stealth after two years in operation and with 9 investments to date. Headed up by the Icelandic entrepreneur David Helgason (formerly co-founder / CEO at Unity) Transition say they’re working towards ‘bridging the gap between traditional tech, climate science, the corporate sector, and policy' and active across Seed to Series A.

💰 Twenty-three NATO Allies have officially become Limited Partners of the €1 billion NATO Innovation Fund, which is set to make its initial investments in startups developing cutting-edge technological solutions later this year.

Trends x Climate: Geothermal Energy

🌎 What is it; Geothermal energy is made from the heat that emanates from the Earth’s crust. If scientists and engineers can properly harness the (as yet) untapped potential of geothermal, it could prove to be a renewable, low-carbon and sustainable energy source for electricity generation, heating, and cooling purposes.

📈 Why you should be paying attention; In the last 3 years the installed capacity of Geothermal Energy Power Projects has increased from 15 Gigawatt in 2020 to circa 18 Gigawatt in 2023 and estimated to reach >25 Gigawatt by 2030 which is a 5% year on year increase on average.

🤔 How’s it currently looking; Some companies in the space (like Dandelion Energy) are looking into direct use applications - using geothermal power to heat our homes, office buildings and industrial greenhouses

Meanwhile, others (like GA Drilling) are developing advanced drilling technologies to reach deeper and hotter geothermal reservoirs to extract higher-temperature fluids, which can significantly increase the energy output of geothermal power plants.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of geothermal energy, and the 15+ companies working on solutions here in our latest climate deep dive. 

Memes x Climate

💦 Prepare yourselves: Infinite moistness has entered the chat.

🌡 Not Parody: Here’s The Washing Post’s solution to our moist-pressing-problems.

Thanks for reading and just an p.s. if you ever come across piece of news or tweet that we should include in future editions - feel free to send it in to us at [email protected] 

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola.