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This UK startup raises £21.8M to convert CO2 into sustainable options with direct air capture

Mission Zero founders
Picture credits: Mission Zero

The world is still using a lot of fossil fuels, which is not good for the environment. At this rate, there will be a time when the CO2 in our air can be much more than just harmful waste. To eradicate this situation, we might have to find ways to directly remove carbon dioxide from the air. 

Some companies are already trying to come up with solutions for this problem. We recently saw carbon capture startups Greenlyte, NeoCarbon, and Noya raise investments. The latest one to join this list is Mission Zero Technologies. 

The London-headquartered startup, a developer of versatile modular direct air capture (DAC) technology, has snapped £21.8 million in Series A funding led by 2150 (invested in Vammo), with participation from World Fund, Fortescue, Siemens Financial Services, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The investment follows the deployment of its first commercial system in December 2023, marking the UK’s first direct air capture plant. 

Climate-first DAC

This funding will help Mission Zero accelerate the development of a mass deployable DAC product recovering 1,000 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 a year, that can be flexibly scaled to unlock a megatonne annual capacity by the end of the decade. 

It is touted to be one of the first DAC solutions to have moved beyond self-financed R&D pilot plants to commercially-funded deployments with international customers. By the end of 2024, Mission Zero will have three systems on the ground in projects pioneering CO₂ mineralisation, carbon-negative building materials, and sustainable aviation fuel.

Sustainable, circular carbon 

Founded in 2020 by Nicholas Chadwick, Shiladitya Ghosh, and Gaël Gobaille-Shaw, Mission Zero seeks to democratise access to a radical new source of sustainable, circular carbon to end dependence on fossil fuels. It converts CO2 which is a harmful, planet-warming gas into almost anything one can think of such as food, clothes, fuels, chemicals, buildings, etc., making it humankind’s most versatile building block. 

It has developed a new versatile modular direct air capture technology for any industrial use case, location, and scale. Inspired by the biological processes that manage CO2 in the body, Mission Zero utilises electricity and a liquid solution to capture atmospheric CO2 in its organic form. 

Its electrochemical separation continuously regenerates the capture solution and concentrates CO2 as a pure gas. Built for rapid scaling and deployment, the technology is cost-effective even at a smaller scale and leverages proven components, established supply chains, and a modular design for global use. 

Mission Zero’s technology is energy efficient and compatible with load-variable renewable sources, allowing it to flexibly ramp up and down to provide on-demand atmospheric CO2 directly at the point of use. 

“We are delighted to welcome VCs and strategic investors with some of the strongest environmental credentials of any investors on the planet,” said Dr. Nicholas Chadwick, CEO of Mission Zero Technologies: “Their world-leading manufacturing acumen and deep alignment with our vision will be catalytic in allowing us to scale DAC rapidly and responsibly for maximum positive climate impact.”

“Mission Zero’s novel technology unlocks mass deployable, low cost, energy efficient DAC, enabling effective carbon removal while also providing a circular CO₂ source that cities can use to make fuel, chemicals, building materials, and more. Mission Zero has gone from concept to commercial deployments in just three years and built a team with the technical talent and drive to rapidly deploy the most competitive DAC in the market. We are excited to support Mission Zero in their ambition to deliver climate impact at scale as the world needs solutions like this to meet the Paris Agreement goals,” said Christian Jolck, Co-founder and Partner at 2150. 

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