British Columbia-based Svante has raised a $318 million Series E round. The funding was led by Chevron New Energies, a division of the fossil fuel giant Chevron.
Svante reports that it has raised a total of $474 million. It launched in 2007 and has 2016 employees.
The new funding will help the company build two commercial-sized carbon filter manufacturing facilities, according to a Svante spokesperson. In June, the company held a groundbreaking event for construction of its new headquarters and manufacturing site in Burnaby, located just east of Vancouver.
“We are working to remove the biggest barriers to rapid deployment of industrial carbon capture by building this manufacturing facility, which we expect will enable us to rapidly expand our order book,” said Claude Letourneau, president and CEO of Svante, in a statement.
Svante’s technology uses filters coated with nano-material solid adsorbents to trap carbon dioxide that is released with industrial flue gas. The CO2 is then concentrated for storage or industrial uses. The technology is suitable for a range of applications, the company said, including the production of hydrogen, pulp and paper, lime, cement, steel, aluminum and chemicals.
The technology is not yet commercially available. It’s currently being deployed at three pilot facilities:
- A project launched with Chevron in 2020 at the oil company’s Kern River facility in San Joaquin Valley, Calif. The effort has U.S. Department of Energy funding and should remove 25 tons of CO2 per day.
- A demonstration with Cenovus (formerly Husky Energy) in Saskatchewan to capture 30 tons of carbon a day from a natural gas-fired steam generator.
- A project at Lafarge Canada’s cement plant in Richmond, B.C., with the goal of capturing 1 ton per day of CO2 onsite and injecting it into the company’s cement products.
Svante’s technology can also be used for “direct-air capture,” which is pulling CO2 from the air that’s all around us — a trickier task than absorbing it from a concentrated source.
The company’s latest round included an additional 13 investors, tapping funds affiliated with the 3M Company, Samsung and United Airlines and others.
Record-setting year for carbon removal startups
Svante’s big round is one data point in a banner year for the carbon removal and storage sector.
- Even before Svante’s news, the second quarter of 2022 saw a record-setting amount of investments with $841.5 million of capital raised across 11 deals, according to PitchBook.
- Last week, the DOE announced the launch of four carbon capture programs, funded with $3.7 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. (In a controversial twist, the effort now includes support for carbon capture projects that facilitate fossil fuel production.)
- In April, Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta and McKinsey Sustainability launched Frontier, a $925 million, nine-year commitment to pay companies for permanently removing carbon from the atmosphere.
- A record number of commercial carbon capture and storage projects are in the works: 196 facilities are in the pipeline or operating, which includes 30 in operation, 11 being built and 153 in development, according to an October report from Global CCS Institute.
While carbon removal efforts are scattered worldwide, the Pacific Northwest is engaged in the carbon capture space through multiple avenues.
Carbon Engineering, a second BC-based carbon capture company, is working on direct air capture. Its investors include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Chevron.
Microsoft has been a corporate leader in pursuing carbon removal, including investments in the carbon capture company Climeworks as well as forestry- and soil-based capture. Amazon has used its Climate Pledge Fund to invest in Pachama, a company developing tools for tracking carbon offsets.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a DOE-funded institution in Eastern Washington, is researching carbon removal technologies.
Even with the progress being made to develop new technologies for carbon capture, it still represents only a drop in the emissions bucket. The total impact of existing and proposed carbon capture and storage projects totals 244 million tons of carbon annually, according to Global CCS Institute.
That comes to less than 1% of the estimated 36 billion tons emitted last year, Bloomberg noted.