B.C. clean tech firm Carbon Engineering secures $68M investment

Mark Lowey
April 3, 2019

British Columbia-based clean technology company Carbon Engineering Ltd. (CE) has raised US$68 million in equity financing. CE says the funding represents the largest-ever investment in “direct air capture,” a climate change mitigation technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. The financing will allow the company to expand its pilot plant in Squamish, B.C. and engineer the first commercial, industrial-scale facilities, each occupying 30 acres of land and capable of capturing up to one million tonnes of CO2 from the air each year.

Based on extensive testing at the pilot plant, CEO Steve Oldman says the technology is able to capture and purify atmospheric CO2 for less than USD$100 per tonne. CE says its direct air capture technology (DAC), developed by acting chief scientist David Keith, can help address climate change in two major ways: by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and safely storing it underground, thereby delivering large-scale negative emissions; and by converting atmospheric CO2 into ultra-low carbon fuels that can power existing cars, trucks and airplanes, through integration with CE’s patented “air to fuels” technology.

CE has attracted an impressive list of investors: Bill Gates, Murray Edwards (founder of Canadian Natural Resources Limited and co-owner of the Calgary Flames), and Thomvest Asset Management (chaired by Canadian billionaire Peter Thompson), among others. To date, CE has led projects funded by Sustainable Development Technologies Canada, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, British Columbia Innovative Clean Energy Fund, and Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation.

David Keith is a CE board member and the company’s acting chief scientist. He holds professorships in engineering and public policy at Harvard University. Keith was a faculty member at the University of Calgary from 2004 to September 2011, during which he and his research team successfully tested his DAC technology in a demonstration project on the university campus.


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