Sucking up CO2

Founded: 2018

HQ: San Francisco, CA

Pumping oil back into the ground.

Big Picture

Every year the world produces over 100 gigatons of biomass waste in the form of sawdust, nutshells, corn stover, and other agricultural byproducts. Managing this waste can be expensive, so much of it is burned or left to rot, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Capturing the carbon content from just a fraction of this waste could remove billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

How it Works

Charm converts waste biomass into bio-oil through fast pyrolysis. That means heating things like plant waste up to 500ºC for a few seconds in an oxygen-free chamber. This process produces bio-oil, a liquid chemical mixture sometimes used today as a fuel. Instead, Charm injects it in underground wells as negative emissions or reforms it to produce green hydrogen as a fuel or industrial chemical.

Unfair Advantage

What sets Charm apart is the focus on bio-oil production rather than seeking to produce a pure stream of CO2. It enables the conversion of cheap inputs like agricultural waste into a carbon-rich bio-oil that can be stored deep underground, leveraging an extensive infrastructure for moving and storing oil itself. This will allow Charm to rapidly scale its supply of carbon removal credits.

1.4

Tons of CO2e

removed per ton of bio-oil sequestered

PETER REINHARDT CO-FOUNDER

Peter is also the CEO and co-founder of Segment, the world’s leading customer data platform. 

Follow: @reinpk

KELLY HERING CTO & CO-FOUNDER

Before co-founding Charm, Kelly was a mechanical design engineer with aerospace companies Astra and Planet. 

Follow: @kellyghering

SHAUN MEEHAN CSO & CO-FOUNDER

Sean was previously an embedded systems and electronics engineer with Planet, XUV Lasers, and Rocketship Systems Inc.

Follow: @logiclow


Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal

MIT Technology Review

How Charm Industrial hopes to use crops to cut steel emissions

MIT Technology Review

A Start-Up’s Unusual Plan to Suck Carbon Out of the Sky

The Atlantic

Meet the startup producing oil to fight climate change

Grist