Sucking up CO2
HQ: Palo Alto, CA
Electrochemical direct air capture.
Carbon dioxide makes up just 0.04% of air, which is why capturing it directly from the atmosphere is so hard. Strictly chemical processes are well understood but most require serious energy to pass enough air through “carbon-sticky” chemicals and then unbind them with heat. Advances in electrochemistry and material science point to simpler processes driven primarily by electricity.
How it Works
Holy Grail’s direct air capture system resembles a discharging battery cell: atmospheric air flows through a positively charged cathode, CO2 molecules are ionized and transported from the cathode to the anode. No heat or water is required along the way, just clean electricity. This allows Holy Grail to build compact cells not much larger than a laptop that can be stacked together.
Their approach is radically simple, slashing the heat, water, and energy requirements typically associated with direct air capture. This leads to a very low minimum cost for stripping CO2 from the air. The tech lends itself well to a modular, manufacturable cell that could just as easily scrub CO2 at a household level as at an industrial site with cells piled on top of one another, and many use cases in between.
square inch cell
captures a US household’s annual emissions
NUNO PEREIRA CEO & CO-FOUNDER
Nuno, an industrial designer with a background in chemistry and materials science, built Holy Grail’s stack components from scratch.
DAVID HICKS CTO & CO-FOUNDER
David is a chemical engineer from Virginia Tech with experience building manufacturing systems for novel membrane materials.
Introducing Holy GrailMedium
Holy Grail raises $2.7M seed fund to create modular carbon capture devicesTechCrunch
CO2 seperation and transport via electrochemical methodsJournal of Electrochemical Society
Electrochemical seperation and concentration of <1% carbon dioxide from nitrogenJournal of Electrochemical Society