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Today we met with Dan Deviri, Co-founder and CEO at CarbonBlue 

The Climate Journey   

Dan, who has a background in biological physics and earned his PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science, founded CarbonBlue with Iddo Tsur. His goal was to utilize his scientific training to bring about positive change, with a specific focus on climate issues. Both Dan and Iddo knew that climate is a crucial concern for the future of our planet, influencing everything from personal consumer choices to international politics. Reconnecting after their service in the military, the two decided to found CarbonBlue together to address this critical issue.


Carbon Blue 

Founded in 2022, CarbonBlue's goal is to reduce CO2 levels – the most harmful and pervasive greenhouse gas – by removing it from the atmosphere as fast as possible. This is facilitated by CarbonBlue’s unique water-based CO2 removal technology, which allows existing industries to become carbon neutral or even carbon-negative without having to rebuild their existing infrastructure. CarbonBlue's carbon removal solution takes water containing dissolved atmospheric CO2 and pumps it into a reactor which extracts the CO2, mineralizing it into solid limestone. Then, using heat, a second reactor removes CO2 from the limestone. The stream of pure, removed CO2 is then used as an industrial feedstock, or sequestered in geologic formation granting a tradable carbon credit by the ton, while the low-CO2 water is returned to its source, where it continues to fulfill its original function while absorbing more CO2 from the atmosphere, lowering greenhouse gasses on a massive scale.

The CarbonBlue Team

 We asked Dan a series of questions. 


Q: Can you tell me about Carbon Blue and your technology?  

Dan: CarbonBlue's focus is on developing advanced technology to efficiently and effectively remove carbon dioxide from the environment. The company's approach is different from traditional carbon capture methods, which attempt to remove CO2 directly from the air.

Instead, CarbonBlue draws inspiration from a Google X project that explored an idea called Direct Ocean Carbon Capture. Using a similar approach, CarbonBlue removes carbon dioxide from water, which has a higher concentration of CO2 than the atmosphere.

The process involves mixing the CO2-saturated water with calcium hydroxide, which then interacts with dissolved carbon dioxide and forms a solid precipitate of limestone. The company's proprietary reactor accelerates the time this process takes by three orders of magnitude when compared to conventional reactors, significantly improving all aspects of the carbon capture method. The resulting CO2 is then removed from the water, which is returned to the environment to absorb more atmospheric carbon dioxide. The solid calcium carbonate is decomposed back into calcium hydroxide and CO2 in a second reactor, and the entire process is fully recycled, only requiring a source of energy to continue perpetually. CarbonBlue's technology is compact, cost-effective, and has the added benefit of mitigating ocean acidification when used in marine environments.


Q: How does your business model connect to carbon markets? 

We’re looking at the carbon credits market, but in order to be eligible for carbon credits, we need to durably sequester the carbon dioxide we extract. In Israel, where we are located, there aren't any market-ready ways to do that on a relevant scale yet, so we're collaborating with other companies, which can use the carbon in different ways, to form a mutual pilot. We plan to construct a facility abroad by 2026, which would be connected to a geo-sequestration site. The carbon dioxide removed from water would be moved on to be sequestered underground, and then we can create carbon credits to sell.


Q: What stage are you at now? 

Dan: Our technology consists of two core reactors; a mineralization reactor, and a regeneration reactor, both of which have been thoroughly tested in our laboratories and in the field. We’re now integrating them and all necessary equipment, and are about to launch a full pilot that will remove carbon dioxide on a larger scale. The plan is to finish construction of the pilot, and have it up and running, working at hundreds of tons per year scale, by the end of this year. We want to build it in Israel because there is water, industrial CO2 users, and very rich human resources.


Q: What are some main barriers that you’re facing? 

Dan: Regulation is a major obstacle, particularly in terms of obtaining permits to pump water in and out of the environment. Additionally, lack of government incentives in Israel is also an obstacle, though a relatively minor one since startups in Israel often look outside of Israel’s borders for funding. However, it is difficult for our small and lean company to hire advisors to navigate the regulatory landscape. In 2021-2022, when carbon dioxide removal became a trend, it was easy for venture capital to invest money on the premise that those markets would form in the future. However, now, VC money flows mainly toward innovation that increases efficiency or reduces emissions, rather than capturing carbon dioxide, for which the financial incentives are still evolving. There should be more government support in Israel to advance and promote our climate goals, but the situation is currently problematic.


Q: Where will CarbonBlue be in 5 years? 

Dan: We, like other carbon dioxide removal companies, want to remove as much carbon dioxide as possible from the environment, as soon as possible. We want to scale up and deploy our technology in as many places as possible to make a significant impact on global emissions. In five years, we hope to integrate our technology with public and industrial infrastructure on a global scale, and start making a meaningful contribution to the climate crisis.


Q: What makes your team a super team? 

Dan: I credit our success to our team of engineers, who were able to turn our vision into reality. We were able to find the right talent in Israel, because there is a disproportionate number of talented individuals here. Overall, I believe that having the right talent is the key to our success – which was made possible by how important the climate question is, and how we all share a vision and values that provide us all with the sense that our mission is important. Our superpower is this sense of urgency and belief in the cause, which allows us both to recruit the absolute best of the best, as well as to push ourselves to give everything we’ve got, and more.


Q: If you had one tip to give to other climate tech entrepreneurs, what would it be? 

Dan: Just start working on your idea, even if you don't think it's perfect. Try to raise money to alleviate financial burdens and be bold with your choices. Living climate tech and constantly thinking about it will lead to better ideas and ways to improve your idea, rather than trying to perfect it from an outside perspective.  

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