Aspiring Materials - Investment Notes
Lachlan Nixon, Holly Marshall, Dr Stuart Lansley, Dr James Pope
We're delighted to have led Aspiring Material's $1.5m pre-seed capital raise to fund the design of NZ’s first industrial carbon capture pilot plant facility.
Aspiring Materials is a Christchurch-based climate tech company that was introduced to us by our close friends at Icehouse Ventures. Their technology enables the exciting possibility of the capture of large amounts of industrial carbon dioxide emissions using commonly found volcanic rocks.
Aspiring Materials uses a mineralisation process to extract magnesium hydroxide which captures CO2 readily and rapidly. It differs from other carbon capture technologies as captured CO2 is not pumped underground but locked away as a solid state powder-like material called magnesium carbonate.
By using Aspiring Materials' carbon capture and abatement materials, the company expects industrial processes such as traditional concrete manufacturing can reduce their emissions by up to 97%. Given concrete manufacture currently generates 7% of the world's emissions, this is much needed and is a significant commercial opportunity.
The lab work conducted by the company at the University of Canterbury to date is very exciting. On one of our visits, the company showed us actual direct air capture being conducted on a small scale. If you look at the carbon dioxide monitor in this video, you will see the carbon dioxide reading slowly decrease over time - proof that the materials are literally sucking carbon dioxide out of the air.
Megan with some of our favourite rock - Olivine
The next step is for the company to move out of the lab and build a pilot plant, which will be New Zealand's first industrial carbon capture facility. It will be capable of processing large volumes of feedstock that will then be used for industrial point source carbon capture, direct air capture, and supporting much needed decarbonisation initiatives.
We're delighted to have invested $1m to support Mark, Chris, Allan, Matt, Megan, Jared, Tegan, Kathy, Josh and Bradley on this mission. It is an exceptional example of world-class kiwi technology that has significant commercial and impact prospects in helping the world decarbonise.
Check them out here - https://www.aspiringmaterials.com/