Danish climatetech startup Again nets $10 million seed to launch innovative CO2-based chemical production site

Again, a Copenhagen-based climate tech startup, has secured a $10 million seed financing round from prominent investors such as ACME, GV (Google Ventures), and Atlantic Labs. Specializing in biomanufacturing, the company pioneers a revolutionary process utilizing natural, gas-eating bacteria to convert up to 1 ton of CO2 per day into sustainable chemical products, initially focusing on acetate and acetic acid. With this funding, Again plans to scale up its operations, investing in research and development to expand its product portfolio while further developing larger production sites across Europe and North America, aiming to bolster their position as a leader in creating carbon-negative chemicals and catering to industry demand for environmentally friendly alternatives.

The company harnesses natural, gas-eating bacteria to convert waste carbon dioxide (CO₂) into a range of sustainable chemical products. Again was spun out of the Danish Technical University in 2021 to turn a decade of research into industrial applications, and is now introducing its technology on a global scale.

Launching the carbon utilization plant marks a milestone in Again’s mission to build sustainable industrial value chains using biology. Among energy intensive industries, the chemical industry is one of the most challenging to defossilize due its dependence on carbon as a building block, while other hard-to-abate sectors like steel or cement lack affordable options to tackle unavoidable carbon emissions. Direct industrial emissions account for about one quarter of the world’s energy system CO₂ emissions. Again’s novel biomanufacturing process collects these unavoidable carbon outputs from industry at the source, reusing them to manufacture sustainable chemicals.

“We’ve created a simple, energy efficient process that supplies the chemical products demanded by industry, without the negative environmental impact,” states Torbjørn Jensen, CEO.

Again’s new facility captures up to 1 ton of CO₂ per day and converts the greenhouse gas into acetate and acetic acid, important base chemicals for adhesives, solvents, plastics, textiles, and cosmetics with a high emission footprint. Compared to existing production, the company’s novel process prevents up to three tons of emissions per ton of product, enabling the production of carbon negative chemicals. Again achieves this by replacing fossil fuels with CO₂ as feedstock, and avoiding the high process emissions of existing chemical production through biomanufacturing. With the first industrial scale-up now complete, Again is developing larger production sites across Europe and North America.

“In a global market where emissions are measured in gigatons, we’ve created a simple, energy efficient process that creates the chemical products demanded by industry, without the negative environmental impact and at competitive prices,” explains Dr. Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Again. “With our biomanufacturing plant online, we are leading the global transition to producing chemicals directly from CO₂ through biology. We have proven demand from customers who are eager to defossilize their value chains using our products.”

The idea to reuse CO₂ as feedstock for chemicals has not yet been widely adopted due to previous technologies being prohibitively energy intensive and expensive. Again’s biomanufacturing process represents a shift in this paradigm, as it eliminates the need for energy- and cost-intensive separation and purification of the CO₂.

“Again is the world’s most affordable and flexible carbon capture solution”, said Max Kufner, co-founder and COO. “We are building a solution that has no operating costs for our clients. At Again we are building a solution that offers Carbon Capture with no operating costs for our clients.”

With its modular, flexible production process, Again’s biomanufacturing not only reduces emissions, but has the potential to re-shore chemical production to regions seeking alternatives to fossil-based options due to cost and pollution. The technology brings international climate goals within reach, while supporting sustainable economic development.

The funding from leading Silicon Valley investors will enable Again to continue scaling up, while investing in R&D to expand its product portfolio.

“ACME, GV, and Atlantic Labs recognized the potential of biomanufacturing in fighting climate change and have been strong supporters of Again working simultaneously towards a positive environmental impact and a profitable business case”, said Kufner.

“Again is building a critical solution for our fight against climate change” added Christian Tang-Jespersen, Partner at ACME. “There is huge demand from the industry for carbon negative chemicals. Again’s novel biomanufacturing process is primed to unlock this massive market. Just as important, the industry is looking for resilient supply and Again has the potential to become a global supplier.

In addition to venture capital funding, Again has also received public funding, including the €43 million PyroCO₂ project from the European Union’s Horizon program that is built around Again’s technology.

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Originally published on ArcticStartup : Original article

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