from c1 to c2
In a startup who seeks venture funding, there are 3 simultaneous problems to be solved – societal needs, business durability, and investor returns.
Our vision is to reduce or remove CO2 and convert waste to cash. The moniker C1 is the first phase of our journey. It is to capture concentrated CO2 in the hard-to-abate sectors or to remove dilute CO2 in air. C1 designates one carbon in the flue gas or in the atmosphere, respectively. This phase is often viewed as a cost center. Through customer discovery, this is an accounts payable in the cash flow statement, absent tax credits. Although it satisfies a societal need (reducing carbon emissions), it does not create value for customers beyond compliance.
The 2nd phase and a more challenging endeavor is to convert the one carbon (C1) into a reduced carbon species or a two-carbon (C2) molecule at an economically acceptable cost. This roadmap to value creation has strong resonance in the business community.
Hence, we are solving the first two problems durably and invariant to policy. The last problem to solve is investor returns. By selecting a growing market with a global tailwind and a robust business model, we anticipate the multiples on invested capital for equity holders to be well north of venture investment expectations.
In summary, our vision and roadmap to value creation satisfy all three problem statements simultaneously. We do well by doing good – from C1 to C2.
To impact climate change and human livability, the carbon dioxide concentration in the troposphere needs to be reduced substantially at an affordable cost to society. The mass balance of atmospheric CO2 consists of sources and sinks. Today, we stand at 42 G tons/year of carbon-equivalent emissions. Because of long half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere, its concentration accumulates. The sinks are nature-based (trees and oceans) and engineered carbon dioxide removal (CDR). We choose emissions reduction via carbon capture due to its much larger impact. For example, the ratio of carbon emissions to engineered carbon removal is O(103). This makes carbon capture central to Net-Zero Transition (NZT).
Social risk mitigation
The case for Net Zero 2050 has been argued eloquently in the Paris Agreement and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The societal and human costs due to large fluctuations in weather are existential. Humanitarian impacts are higher costs of food production systems, migration of population in low-lying regions due to higher sea level rise, and deterioration of human health.
The impacts on global ecology are less freshwater availability, wetland reduction, ocean ecosystem (ocean acidification, storm intensification and deoxygenation) and the shrinkage of the coral reefs.
If our initiative is successful, we expect to mitigate the societal risks stated above. In the hard-to-abate industries, our target for carbon capture is 25G tons/year. For the US power sector, it generates 1.36G tons/year. Our near-term goal is a sub-gigaton scale of capture.