A startup from the UK that specializes in climate technologies is looking to remove carbon from energy-intensive industries through artificial intelligence. Carbon Re received £4.2 million in seed funding to increase its development and deployment of its technology.
Berlin-based green tech venture capital firm Planet A Ventures participated in the round, as did Cambridge Enterprise, Clean Growth Fund and UCL Technology Fund. Together, these organizations invested over £5.5 million into the company. Additionally, German SaaS Makersite received backing from this investment round.
Carbon Re plans to use new capital to expand its energy-related product line into other industries such as cement and glass. Additionally, this funding will help the company scale up development and deployment of their novel technology.
Carbon Re is a London-based company that was spun off from the Cambridge University. It’s focused on decarbonizing energy-intensive industries like glass, cement and steel. Their Delta Zero platform uses artificial intelligence to develop new decarbonized industrial processes, materials and designs. Carbon Re takes responsibility for over 20% of global emissions.
Carbon Re CEO Sherif Elsayed-Ali stated that his company’s cement plant trials connected the biggest challenge in our time, climate change, to the biggest opportunity, artificial intelligence advancements. In less than a live time, Delta Zero drastically reduced CO2 emissions. We’re creating a better way for energy-intensive businesses to manage their energy costs. Our platform allows them to save $2 million in fuel costs and remove 50,000 tons of CO2 per plant. This latest funding round will help us accelerate our mission to reduce carbon emissions by one gigaton every year.”
Carbon Re’s AI can calculate the efficiency of different fuels, materials, and processes. This will eventually give them the ability to create a portfolio of solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions across multiple industries. Jan Christoph Gras, General Partner of Planet A, believes Carbon Re has the potential to create a “backbone” for future sustainable economies. He also believes that their AI will be able to solve some of the most difficult challenges in pushing towards a carbon-neutral world.
Capturing Carbon With AI
Energy-intensive industries such as cement, steel, and glass produce over 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Their energy-intensive nature makes it difficult to decarbonize them. Carbon Capture and Storage for these industries is being heavily relied on for the decarbonization plan. This method takes decades to implement and increases costs of materials by 60%. Other decarbonization plans don’t require new equipment— they already reduce energy costs and global emissions.
Delta Zero software cuts over 50 kilotonnes of CO2 emissions per cement plant— the equivalent of removing 11,000 cars from the road. The software support for highly polluting industries like cement reduces their CO2 emissions by 50%.
In 2020, London-based Carbon Re was founded by Aidan Sullivan, Buffy Price, Daniel Summerbell and Sherif Elsayed-Ali.
Aidan earned a PhD from the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London. Before that, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University College Cork in Ireland. Aidan is an Associate Professor at the UCL Energy Institute, which is where he teaches Energy and Artificial Intelligence.
Sherif is an expert in the field of tech for good. He previously founded Element AI’s Artificial Intelligence for Climate change program. In addition to being an EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Fellow, Bucky is a certified PRINCE2 AI for Climate Program Manager, having studied Neuroscience at Cambridge’s BSc program. Daniel is a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Trustee of the International Disaster Volunteers at the Institute for Manufacturing in Cambridge. He also serves as a Daniel EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Fellow in the field of manufacturing.
Out of the 23 people currently on their team, 35% are female, while 65% are male. They have employed 26% of the team that is made up of ethnic minorities from 13 different countries.
PwC reports that over 3,000 climate tech startups exist around the world. Many believe this to be a sign of the climate tech sector’s growth during a time of economic recession. A list curated by the The Future Now Network shows that there are ten unicorns in the climate tech industry. Bill Gates’ dream of a world filled with incredible climate tech was funded thanks to these companies. Check out the list to learn about some of the record levels of funding for this industry. Extreme weather and climate change lead to record levels of investment in this area. Also leading to increased investment are urbanization, COVID-19 pandemics, and the COVID-19 virus itself.