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Carbon Management – Market Map

Author: Dwayne Pattison

In the previous market maps we have largely focused on the technologies that prevent the release of GHG emissions. Now our attention turns to the technologies that look to deal with the emissions after they have been produced. We call this iteration of the climate tech market map “carbon management”. 

Under this segment, we include the large subsegment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and break it down into the three individual parts.

The other key subsegment is “carbon removal”. Carbon removal technologies are diverse and include such methods as direct air capture, enhanced weathering and soil carbon sequestration. This segment differs from capturing carbon primarily by where the carbon is at the time of removal. The key differences are discussed in more detail below.

The other two subsegments in the map are reduction and supporting services. These companies and their technologies focus on carbon markets, emissions monitoring and reporting, verification tools, software development and other related services.

The importance of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies in achieving the temperature targets established in the Paris Agreement was recently discussed in the report, The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal.

Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes, using it in various applications, or storing it underground. 

Carbon Capture

Carbon capture is the process of capturing carbon at the point of emissions. This occurs usually in a smoke stack or flue at the company site. The capture technology is therefore located within the stack or somewhere along the production process. The goal is to develop technologies that can be easily added to existing plants to lower emissions. 

Various methods are being tested and implemented. Solvents, calcium carbonates, metal oxides, and membranes are some of the leading methods currently. Innovative startups are crucial in refining these technologies. They are working on enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and scaling up novel solutions that could be implemented.

See the recent funding announcement for a waste-to-energy facility with integrated carbon capture and storage.

Storage 

Once the carbon is captured it is usually transported via a pipeline to a storage site. Often the carbon capture and storage technologies are interlinked and therefore this is a carbon capture and storage (CCS) system. Most active CCS projects store the carbon in underground storage facilities (“geological storage”) such as a depleted oil and gas field, or in underground aquifers or formations. One of the main activities at this stage is determining how to store carbon permanently underground and ensuring there are no leakages. 

Carbon Utilization 

Increasingly, more companies are looking to use the carbon in some way rather than storing it permanently underground. Uses include:

  • CO2-Derived Chemicals: Companies convert captured CO2 into chemical products, which are used in a variety of industrial applications.This approach not only reduces CO2 emissions but also creates valuable products, contributing to a circular carbon economy.
  • Fuels: Captured CO2 can be combined with hydrogen to produce synthetic fuels that are carbon-neutral, if renewable energy sources are used.
  • CO2 Enhanced OIl Recovery (CO2-EOR): Injected CO2 helps recover residual oil from declining oil fields. While this process extends the life of oil fields and sequesters CO2, it also facilitates the production of additional fossil fuels. Read some of the recent research in China that looks at the storage opportunities in shale reservoirs.
  • Concrete Building Materials: Companies are incorporating CO2 in the concrete during production, sequestering carbon while enhancing the properties of the concrete.The construction industry is a significant carbon emitter, and CO2-infused concrete offers a way to reduce its carbon footprint.

The utilization of carbon has been discussed in previous market maps under industry (concrete and chemicals), transportation (fuels) and the built environment (concrete). We described how companies are using carbon dioxide to produce a wide range of products. Different companies have been highlighted in this market map.

Carbon Removal Technologies

Carbon removal technologies are quite diverse and mainly rely on nature’s capacity to sequester carbon in different processes – whether it is through trees and plants, soil, minerals or oceans.

These processes differ from carbon capture technologies discussed above. Carbon capture is done at the point of emissions (e.g. in a smokestack), while carbon removal sequesters carbon already in the atmosphere. Therefore, the removal technologies can be located almost anywhere, while capture technologies are deployed on site where the emissions are produced, such as an industrial facility (eg. coal power plants, petrochemical plants, etc.).  

Direct Air Capture

Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Direct Air Carbon Capture with Storage (DACCS) technologies capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere using various chemical processes. Currently most of these technologies require the use of large fans to draw the air in so the carbon can be sequestered. As such, lots of energy is required during operation. 

Check out the research ongoing at Cambridge that is looking to bring costs down on DAC technology. 

Forestry and Biomass

For forestry, companies focus on tree planting, forest management, and the use of wood products to sequester CO2. Trees naturally capture carbon, making this an effective and relatively low-cost method for carbon sequestration. For our map, we included companies using other forms of biomass to sequester carbon. The principle is the same –  utilizing biological processes to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and store it in various forms. 

Biochar

A separate segment was added to focus on biochar but the process is also using biomass as a form of CO2 sequestration and storage. Biomass is converted into biochar through pyrolysis (heating in the absence of oxygen). Biochar is a stable form of carbon that can be added to soil, enhancing soil fertility and locking carbon away for centuries.

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)

BECCS is a crossover of carbon removal and carbon capture technologies. It combines biomass energy production with carbon capture and storage to prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere. BECCS can generate energy while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, making it a dual-benefit technology.

Microalgae and Algae Products

Another form of biosequestration is the use of  microalgae. This approach takes advantage of the fact that micoalgae can grow rapidly which offers a high-yield method for CO2 capture and utilization. Companies use the microalgae to capture CO2 and convert it into biofuels and other valuable products. Similarly algae that grow in marine environments also sequestrer carbon. Algae can then be used in a wide range of applications such as fuel, feed, bioplastics, cosmetics, etc. Check out the recent research on microalgae from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Ocean-Based Removal 

Oceans are large carbon sinks and companies are pursuing technologies that look to maintain or enhance its capacity to sequester carbon. Approaches include ocean fertilization and enhancing the alkalinity of the  oceans. There are also methods of extracting dissolved CO2 from seawater such as direct ocean capture and electrochemical conversion. 

More on Blue Carbon.

Land Management and Soil Carbon Sequestration

Soil has significant capacity for carbon storage, and improving agricultural practices can enhance soil health and carbon content. Companies are looking to enhance its ability to absorb and retain carbon through agricultural practices like no-till farming, cover cropping, and biochar application. 

Enhanced Weathering

Enhanced weathering refers to the process of spreading finely ground silicate minerals, such as basalt or olivine, over large areas of land to accelerate the natural weathering process. When these minerals are exposed to CO2 in the atmosphere, they chemically react to form bicarbonate and carbonate ions. Enhanced weathering has significant theoretical potential, especially in regions with abundant suitable minerals.

Mineralization

Mineralization involves converting atmospheric CO2 into stable minerals, a natural process that  can be accelerated to store carbon for a long period of time. CO2 chemically reacts with metal oxides like magnesium or calcium to form stable carbonates, such as magnesite or limestone. Companies are exploring methods to expedite the process, either by injecting CO2 into underground formations with reactive minerals or reacting extracted minerals with CO2 in a controlled environment.Ongoing innovations aim to enhance its feasibility and economic viability.

Carbon Reduction Services

Carbon Markers, Credits and Trading

This segment includes companies involved in the creation, trading, and verification of carbon credits, which are used to offset emissions. Technologies include:

  • Blockchain: Ensures transparency and traceability in the trading of carbon credits.
  • Marketplaces: Platforms where carbon credits can be bought and sold.
  • Verification Tools: Technologies that validate the authenticity of carbon credit

Monitoring / Analysis / Tools

This segment includes software solutions that help companies monitor their carbon emissions in real-time, track progress towards sustainability goals, and generate reports for stakeholders.

  • Emission Tracking Software: Platforms that collect and analyze emission data.
  • Real-Time Monitoring Systems: Sensors and IoT devices that provide continuous monitoring of emissions.
  • Data Analytics and Visualization Tools: Software that processes data and provides insights through dashboards and reports.

Supporting Services

The final segment is a kind of a catchall for the other types of services that are used within carbon management.ncompass a wide range of activities aimed at reducing and managing carbon emissions within organizations. This includes consulting services, emission reduction strategies, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

  • Energy Audits: Assess energy use and identify areas for improvement.
  • Sustainability Reporting Tools: Software that helps companies track and report on sustainability metrics.
  • Carbon Footprint Analysis: Tools and services to measure the carbon footprint of operations and products.

VCs Supporting Carbon Management Startups

Venture capitalists (VCs) play a very important role in supporting carbon management startups, which are essential for climate action and decarbonization. By providing the necessary funding, VCs enable these startups to develop and scale innovative technologies and solutions aimed at reducing carbon emissions. This financial backing not only helps startups to overcome initial financial hurdles but also accelerates their growth, allowing them to bring impactful climate solutions to market more quickly. VCs also offer strategic guidance, industry connections, and business expertise, which are crucial for navigating the complex regulatory and market landscapes. Following VC firms have particularly supported carbon management startups in recent years:

  1. Zero Carbon Capital
  2. Clean Energy Ventures
  3. Energy Capital Ventures
  4. Pale Blue Dot
  5. Carbon Ventures
  6. Better Ventures
  7. SET Ventures
  8. Energy Innovation Capital
  9. Oxygen House Group
  10. Obvious Ventures

Further Reading and Resources

CI Market Maps

Be sure to check out the other Climate Insider Market Maps in our series: 

Economics of Carbon Removal

For a good overview of the economics for some of these pathways and technologies discussed below, see the publication in Nature, The Technological and Economic Prospects for CO2 Utilization and Removal. The authors also estimate the potential for how much carbon can be removed from each approach. 

Current Industry Status

Also a great overview of the current status of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) was just released on June 4.The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal — Edition 2

Smith, S. M., Geden, O., Gidden, M. J., Lamb, W. F., Nemet, G. F., Minx, J. C., Buck, H., Burke, J., Cox, E., Edwards, M. R., Fuss, S., Johnstone, I., Müller-Hansen, F., Pongratz, J., Probst, B. S., Roe, S., Schenuit, F., Schulte, I., Vaughan, N. E. (eds.) The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal 2024 – 2nd Edition. DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/F85QJ (2024)

To stay informed about the climate industry explore our latest climate tech news.

Companies Included

1PointFive

280 Earth 

300ppm

44.01

ACX

AGR

Agreena

AgriProve

Aircapture

Airex Energy

Airfix

Airovation Technologies

Aker Carbon Capture

Algenol

Algiecel

AlliedOffsets

Aqualung Carbon Capture

Aquarry

Arbon Earth

Beccs Stockholm

BeZeo Carbon

Biochar Hellas

Biorecro

Blue Planet

Blusink

Boomitra

Brilliant Planet

C-Capture

Calcin8 Technologies

Captura

Carbfix

CarbiCrete

Carbominer

Carbon Alpha

Carbon Block

Carbon Clean 

Carbon Credit Capital

Carbon Direct

Carbon Engineering

Carbon Lock Tech

Carbon Neutral+

Carbon Recycling International

Carbon Streaming Corporation 

Carbon To Stone

Carbon Trade eXchange

Carbon8

Carbonaide 

CarbonCapture

CarbonCure Technologies

Carbonext

Carbonfuture

Carboniferous

Carbonis

Carbonsate

CarbonWorks

Cbamboo

Ceezer

Cella

Charm Industrial

Charm Industrial

CinSOIL

Claims Carbon

CleanO2 

Climate Impact X

ClimatePartner

Climes

Climeworks

CO2CO

Cool Planet

Corporate Carbon

Covestro

CUR8

CyanoCapture

Deep Sky

Denbury

Dimensional Energy

Ebb Carbon

ecometric ltd

Econic Technologies

Eion Carbon

Emitwise

Enhance Energy

Entropy

Everest Carbon

Exterra Carbon Solutsion

First Climate

Fixing CO2

Flux

Foreest Carbon

Genvision

Global Algae

Global Changer

Graphyte

Green Emissions

Green Sequest

GreenWise

Heirloom 

Holocene

HyveGeo

ImpactLoop

InPlanet

Isometric

Kapture

Key Carbon

Levidian 

Lithos Carbon

Living Carbon 

Loam Bio

Mantel

Mati Carbon

Mission Zero Technologies

Mitico

MSCI Carbon Markets

MyCarbon

Newlight Technologies 

Nordbex

Novocarbo

Noya

Orbio Earth

Pachama

Parallel Carbon

Persefoni

Plan A

Planetary 

Prometheus

Puro.earth

Pyreg GmbH

PyroCCS

Qaptis

ReCarbn

RedoxNRG

Remora

Running Tide

Savimbo

Seafields Solutions

SeaO2

Seqana

Silicate 

Soletair Power

Solidai

South Pole

Standard Carbon

Storegga

Subtidal

Sustaera

Synhelion 

TerGo

TerraFixing

The Climate Choice

TreeCoin

UNDO

Vault 44.01

Vaulted Deep

VyCarb

WayCarbon

Whitecap Resources 

Yard Stick