Metasorbex is an early-stage advanced materials company focusing on climate technology. The problem we are solving is to lower the cost of carbon capture by 10x (capex and opex) for the hard-to-abate sectors which account for 60% of global eCO2 emissions. (These sectors include power, transportation, chemicals, cement, and iron/steel.) Our solution is functionalized nanocarbons to selectively adsorb and regenerate CO2 at a much lower energy than incumbent technologies.
The pain point in emissions mitigation and/or removal is the cost of implementation. It is a negative EBITDA project absent policy invention. In our customer discovery across a wide cross-section of businesses, adding costs to their businesses is a nonstarter.
job to be done
The job to be done is to satisfy the E in ESG (Environmental Social Governance). This means compliance and reporting, improving return on assets, and balancing brand equity and cost of implementation. Ideally, it should be retrofittable operationally and cost neutral or better.
Gain - "trash to cash"
The most compelling proposition of our carbon capture model is that we turn a typical cost center into a profit center. The customers can satisfy their ESG metrics, enhance brand equity and generate incremental revenue stream simultaneously.
At a tactical level, we are solving the carbon capture problem in the hard-to-abate sectors. Our innovation lies in advanced sorbent development. For any carbon capture process, the first step is CO2 collection. It is done through adsorption by sorbent. We’ll use nanomaterials that we had commercialized. It has high adsorptive capacity, high reuse and low energy of regeneration. The immediate project execution is to generate tax credit via sequestration. The 2nd phase is to generate electricity from idle assets. The 3rd phase is to convert the captured carbons into feedstocks.
Founder's Journey and Background
We have been bombarded with daily news on extreme weather events around the globe – 1/3 of Pakistan was flooded, wide-area wildfires in California, and droughts in central China. These extreme events will continue as global energy consumption by humans is increasing each year. (We consumed 162 PWh last year. Note: Peta = 1015). Eighty percent of global energy was generated by carbon-based materials (coal, petroleum, gas); 13% was from renewable; 7%, nuclear. This resulted in 42 G tons/yr of carbon emissions. If we were to achieve Net-Zero by 2050, carbon capture, carbon removal and renewable energies are needed simultaneously in the transition. Our focus is on carbon capture.
With this as the overall problem statement, I began my journey in May 2020 by betting that Presidential Candidate Joe Biden will win the United States Presidential election. If he does win, it means his climate policy will follow.(1) A deep dive into climate policy was the order of the day. The starting points were a literature review of policy goals in the EU and the US, reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, technology alternatives, and progress of late-stage carbon capture companies. My conclusion was that the sweet spot to impacting climate change, developing a defensible technology platform, and creating a sustainable EBITDA business lie in solid sorbent development, not to chase carbon capture systems integration.
(1) Candidate Biden is now the President of the United States. He led the passage of two signature bills in 2021 (Bipartisan Infrastructure Act) and 2022 (Inflation Reduction Act) that add even stronger tailwind in growing climate tech industry.
Edward Chan is a senior executive with accomplishments in corporate America and advanced materials in startups. He oversaw departments of R&D, product management, quality assurance, and intellectual property management in the chemicals and packaging verticals for Fortune 500 companies. Key results delivered were the innovation and commercialization of new products in new and existing markets. As important as new revenue generation, cost reduction followed right behind those efforts. The startups commercialized nanomaterials from carbon nanotubes to graphene for the aerospace and electronics industries. They raised $20 million over three rounds and grew a startup from 30 to 100 people in three years. Carbon capture for the hard-to-abate sectors (chemicals, cement, steel, power, and transportation) intersects his corporate and startup experience vis-à-vis business and technical competence. Ed earned a BS in chemical engineering from California Institute of Technology and a PhD at Princeton University. In climate tech, he was a LaunchPad 4 graduate at AirMiners and a graduate of Cohort 1 of the Spark Cleantech Accelerator 2022 in Knoxville, TN. He is selected to the Cohort 3 of Venture for Climate Tech and MassChallenge ESG 2023.