Vanya Gautam, India Times
At a time when nature is giving a lot of signals all around the world regarding how damaged it is and how badly it needs to recover, a startup backed by Bill Gates is planning to take big steps towards tackling climate change.
The startup Graphyte is backed and incubated by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. It has engineered a hybrid technology that combines engineering with natural photosynthesis processes to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground. For the unversed, Breakthrough Energy Ventures is the umbrella name of several organizations founded by Bill Gates in 2015 to accelerate innovation in sustainable energy and other technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“It’s important to understand that carbon removal is not an excuse to keep emitting, or to slow down our transition to a clean energy economy — we need to keep innovating as fast as we can,” Bill Gates wrote in his firm’s “State of the Transition 2023” report, released on Monday, as per Bloomberg. “But it’s become clear that carbon removal will be a necessary tool to have in our toolkit.”
Plants naturally pull CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their tissue, but that CO2 is released back into the atmosphere when the plant decomposes. Upon launching, startup Graphyte takes waste biomass like discarded wood residue or rice hulls, dries and sterilises it to prevent decomposition. It then condenses it into dense carbon blocks, wraps it in a proprietary polymer barrier and stores it underground in an engineered storage site. The carbon within will be locked away and prevented from being re-released.
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