Heirloom, a startup developing novel tech for removing CO2 from the atmosphere, raised $53 million in a Series A round that includes boldface names in climate VC.
Driving the news: The Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures co-led the round with Carbon Direct Capital Management and Ahren Innovation Capital.
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How it works: Heirloom, founded in 2020, hopes to massively speed up the process by which cheap abundant minerals called carbonates — such as limestone — naturally absorb CO2.
Their tech heats carbonates to very high temperatures in kilns powered with renewable energy, which breaks it down into CO2 and calcium oxide.
The CO2 is captured for geologic storage. The calcium oxide is spread out and exposed to the air.
It then uptakes more CO2 and re-forms carbonates, which are fed back into kilns to separate more CO2 for storage or other uses like building materials. Go deeper.
The big picture: Heirloom is among a suite of young DAC startups.
Players that are further along, like Climeworks and Carbon Engineering, are also attracting investment and have launched commercial removal contracts with customers.
But bringing down costs significantly will be key to whether DAC can move the needle on climate.
Why it matters: DAC, if the tech truly scales, could complement renewables, electric cars, efficiency, and other energy tech that slashes new emissions.
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