Newlight Technologies, a producer of decarbonization technology which uses natural microorganisms to convert greenhouse gas into so-called AirCarbon-based materials, has completed an equity investment round led by GenZero totaling US$125m.
In addition to GenZero, the funding round saw participation from Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV), Charter Next Generation (CNG) and a luxury goods manufacturer. Additional new and existing shareholders also took part.
Newlight has also completed development agreements with CNG to commercialize specialty films decarbonized with AirCarbon. Additional agreements have also been formed with OLCV to use direct air capture (DAC) systems for the development of CO2 feedstock for AirCarbon production plants.
At present, Newlight delivers AirCarbon-based products/materials to more than 5,000 international locations, to customers/partners in the fashion and automotive industries among others. The recent investment round will allow Newlight to carry out an expansion of its AirCarbon manufacturing platform, with the aim of using greenhouse gas (GHG) as a resource to manufacture decarbonized materials.
Newlight’s process uses microorganisms to eat GHGs as their food source to grow a molecule inside of their cells – called PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate). PHB is a molecule used by living organisms as a biological energy and carbon storage vehicle. When purified, PHB can be melted and molded and turned into a material. By weight, AirCarbon is estimated to be 40% oxygen derived from air and 60% carbon derived from greenhouse gas.
“We are excited to work with innovative companies like Newlight who share our vision in decarbonizing a multitude of industries that can help accelerate the path to net zero,” said Derek Willis, vice president, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures. “Direct Air Capture provides a unique opportunity to supply CO2 as a raw material to create low carbon products. We look forward to supporting Newlight as they work to unlock new value from CO2 while addressing climate change.”
The latest capital investment will be used by Newlight to expand the production of AirCarbon at its existing California facility and an upcoming AirCarbon production facility being established in Ohio.