UC Berkeley professor commercializes proprietary technology to capture carbon dioxide and reduce the environmental impact of mining critical elements
Boulder, CO – June 15, 2022 – Travertine Technologies, Inc. today announced a $3M seed financing jointly led by Grantham Environmental Trust and Clean Energy Ventures to commercialize a novel, cost-effective process to capture and permanently sequester ambient CO2 while producing sulfuric acid to enable carbon-negative critical element extraction and fertilizer production.
The IPCC believes that Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) must be scaled concurrently with decarbonization to combat climate change. Travertine’s electrochemical process mineralizes CO2 from the air and co-produces sulfuric acid used for mining the raw materials necessary for the renewable energy transition: lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Approximately 300 million tons of sulfuric acid are used annually in extractive industries including mining and fertilizer production, and demand will grow with the surging need for critical elements. The company’s process also recycles sulfate in legacy and current waste streams, preventing the accumulation of millions of tons of waste annually that contaminate water and increase mining and fertilizer costs.
“Large-scale and economical carbon dioxide removal requires the production of viable commercial products rather than relying solely on offsets,” said Daniel Goldman, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Clean Energy Ventures. “We see immense potential in Travertine’s electrochemical process for capturing CO2, leveraging abundant mineral feedstocks, and producing sulfuric acid, among other products. Scaling this technology has the potential for massive annual gigaton reduction of CO2. We look forward to supporting the Travertine team to accelerate decarbonization of the chemicals and mining industries.”
Travertine was founded by Prof. Laura Lammers, one of the leading scientists in carbonate mineralization, who is leaving UC Berkeley to lead the company. “After years of research on the topic, I started Travertine to solve two big problems: the contamination of our atmosphere with gigatons of carbon dioxide and the contamination of our surface environment with gigatons of sulfate waste, both byproducts of fossil energy use,” said Dr. Lammers. “By mimicking and enhancing Earth’s natural weathering process, we can solve both of these problems at a massive scale in partnership with mining and fertilizer companies. We’re excited to work with respected investors Grantham Environmental Trust and Clean Energy Ventures, who support our mission to develop a practical approach that can start to heal our planet.”
“Travertine’s process is scalable, cost-effective CDR, but Travertine also brings geochemical expertise that complements the growing CDR portfolio enabled by our climate investing and grant-making. Rocks may be able to capture and store away much of the world’s excess CO2; we are grateful to have Travertine’s novel solutions to help make the most of this potential,” said Kevin Tidwell, Managing Director at Grantham Environmental Trust.
This investment will enable Travertine to scale up its team in Boulder, CO, and to accelerate its pathway to pilot-scale implementation in 2023.
About Travertine Technologies, Inc
Travertine is a carbon dioxide removal and industrial chemical production company based in Boulder, CO. Travertine is building a cost-effective, gigaton-scale CDR solution that co-produces sulfuric acid for use in critical element extraction. Learn more at travertinetech.com.
About Clean Energy Ventures
Clean Energy Ventures is a venture capital firm investing in early-stage climate tech startups that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 gigatons of CO2e each between now and 2050, while providing venture-grade returns to our investors.
About Grantham Environmental Trust
Grantham Environmental Trust both invests and makes grants to redesign our energy systems, to improve soil health, to spare the ocean from acidification, to directly recapture carbon from the atmosphere – and more. We believe that innovation and technology are the best hope for an enduring future.