We’ve spent the last century and a half pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and it’s clear that we’ll have to spend the coming decades removing a significant fraction of that.
But then what do we do with it all? Some people are proposing pumping it underground. Others think we can make things from it, including liquid fuels and concrete. Problem is, those are pretty low-margin opportunities today. One startup thinks the answer is to turn carbon dioxide into protein.
That company is getting a shot to test its thesis at scale, TechCrunch+ has exclusively learned. NovoNutrients will be building a pilot-scale plant with help from a $3 million technology and investment deal from Woodside Energy, one of Australia’s largest oil and gas companies, which has begun dipping its toes into the carbon capture waters.
NovoNutrients relies on bacteria to do the dirty work. The company has surveyed the scientific literature to find species that can use carbon dioxide in their metabolic pathways, allowing them to use the waste gas as energy. Its scientists have also discovered strains not otherwise known to science.
“Our technology is about how do you industrialize this naturally occurring metabolism?” CEO David Tze told TechCrunch+.