Start carbon cleaning Announced Earlier this week, it raised $150 million in a Series C that gives it a sizable war chest to continue development of its modular carbon capture system.
Carbon Clean has won its share of admirers, most recently Chevron, which led the round, and BloombergNEF, which called was a BNEF Pioneer last month in part because of the startup’s small-scale approach to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).
Technology is usually a large-scale affair. After all, the world needs to eliminate emissions on a massive scale, and technology benefits from a certain amount of scale. This is why CCS is usually visualized attached to massive coal or gas power plants.
But there are still plenty of smaller sites, from cement kilns to chemical plants, that are currently wedded to fossil fuels but still need to decarbonize. These are the kinds of companies Carbon Clean targets, and the startup says its modular approach can help polluters deal with their carbon emissions incrementally as regulations increase.
Fundamentally, Carbon Clean is based on a tried and true process to remove carbon dioxide from exhaust streams. Exhaust gases containing carbon dioxide are sent through a filter that is moistened with an amine-based solvent. At lower temperatures (around 50 degrees Celsius or 122 degrees Fahrenheit), carbon dioxide will bond with amines. the cotwoThe loaded solvent is then pumped into another container, where it is heated to 230 to 248 degrees F (110 to 120 degrees C) to release the gas, which is then compressed and shipped elsewhere for use or storage. Each company has its own amine solvent with different properties, and the details of the process may vary, but that’s the gist.
Carbon Clean CEO Aniruddha Sharma said his company’s amine solvents can lower costs compared to a commonly used amine by requiring less energy to heat and reducing corrosion in the system. Until the company releases more data, such claims will be difficult to judge. But based on the general type of amine you are usingCarbon Clean is likely to see at least a little improvement in energy use.