2013 R&D 100 Winner
A carbon-negative plastic has been sought-after for many years. While a material that pulls carbon out of the air has been produced, the cost to process it has been three times higher than the cost to produce plastic from oil. Developers at Newlight Technologies LLC, however, have achieved a scalable, cost-effective production method for AirCarbon, a high-performance thermoplastic made by pulling carbon out of air. Newlight’s manufacturing process begins with a point-source stream of air containing greenhouse gas that is collected and fed into a proprietary gas polymerization reactor. Using multiple gas mass transfer technology, air and greenhouse gas is then converted into aqueous form. Dissolved gas is then contacted with an engineered biocatalyst that polymerizes hydrogen, oxygen and carbon into a long-chain thermoplastic polymer at high yield. The resin is converted to plastic pellets, which are as strong as oil-based plastics and more cost effective.
Newlight Technologies LLC
|Newlight Technologies LLC's AirCarbon development team (l-r): Evan Creelman, Mark Herrema, Kenton Kimmel.|
The AirCarbon Development Team from Newlight Technologies LLC
Mark Herrema, Principal Developer