Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the helm, has recently led a $20mn funding round into steel manufacturer, Boston Metal.
The aim to reduce emissions from its operations aligns with the VC’s aim to reduce the impact of climate change, investing in companies that can deliver. Boston Metal will work towards reducing emissions in steel manufacturing by developing a process which utilises Molten Oxide Electrolysis, where the process could eliminate 2bn tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
“Most metals are in nature as a form of oxide,” explains Tadeu Carneiro, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Metal. “In order to get the metal, you have to break the bonds in the oxide and free the metal from it. When you do that with carbon, you generate CO2.”
Implementing this method has been proven to reduce transportation costs, energy consumption, and will lead to fewer operators needed to maintain the equipment. Pollution from steel and other metals has become the largest industrial source of greenhouse gas worldwide, where the global demand for steel is presently 2bn tonnes annually. 7% of all greenhouse gasses are caused by steel making alone.
Joining Breakthrough Energy Ventures in the funding round are Prelude Ventures and The Engine.
“The metals industry tends to be a very conservative industry and getting rid of CO2 emissions, especially for steel, is a big deal. It’s not a small thing, and therefore this is really revolutionising,” added Carneiro. “We are on a path to help saving the world.”