Twelve recycles captured CO2 into fuel, sunglasses and more


As climate change continues to be a major problem worldwide, many are asking for change and finding unique solutions to solve it. TwelveA self-proclaimed “carbon transformation company” is trying to be part of the solution by converting captured CO2 into products commonly made from fossil fuels.

According to co-founder and CEO Nicholas Flanders, the company produces “building blocks for a wide variety of materials, chemicals and fuels made from fossil fuels today.” He claims that the products made in this way have no change in quality compared to the products they replace.

So far, the company has internally developed products such as carbon-based sunglasses (which retail for $495) and carbon-neutral fuels, but the plan is to integrate their technology into companies looking to reduce emissions into their supply chains and operations. Reduce.

Twelve, based in Berkeley, Calif., already says it is partnering with Mercedes-Benz, Procter & Gamble, Shopify, NASA and the Air Force to make products for the automotive, home and government spaces, though it declined to say how many products it has sold , or share of the revenue.

After announcing a $130 million Series B financing round — led by DCVC with the participation of Series A investors Carbon Direct Capital Management and Capricorn Technology Impact Fund — the company plans to build out what it calls a “carbon transformation platform on industrial sites.” called scale.

Flanders explained that the platform consists of planting their system, a reactor, at partnered production sites to directly convert the emitted CO2 into products (the “building blocks”, probably more complex hydrocarbons) that partner companies can use.

A version of Twelve's reactor, which converts CO2 into useful molecules.

Image Credits: Twelve

“Until now, the focus has really been on devising and making and building the product. So this round really represents an exciting inflection point,” said Flanders.

Sunglasses with lenses made from CO2-derived materials.

Since its inception in 2015, Twelve has raised more than $200 million, according to CrunchBase, and will use the money from this round to expand and prepare for the real-world deployment of their technology.

“A big benefit of our technology is that it helps customers address a lot of the volatility they see in their supply chains because our main inputs are CO2, which we capture locally, and electricity, which is something you can actually get. long-term contract for a very stable pricing”, says Flanders. “So we see what we’re doing is not just something that has a positive impact on the environment, but also something where customers can have a little more control over their pricing and long-term predictability.”

The company also sees opportunities to collaborate with companies that are already engaged in the capture and storage of CO2 emissions, such as Global Thermostat and Shell.

“Whether it is point source capture, i.e. capture from industrial sources of CO2, or direct air capture, meaning it is taken from the air, all these companies are potential partners for us,” explains Flanders, “because we have the answering the question of, ‘okay, great, I’ve captured CO2… What am I supposed to do with it?’ †

Despite having a mission to reduce CO2 emissions, the company emits a CO2 footprint when manufacturing their own product, but Flanders said they will quickly repay this CO2 debt once they are operational. Whether that includes Scope 3 emissions is unclear.


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