Slashing CO2

Founded: 2016

HQ: Houston, TX

Making chemicals with enzymes, not oil.

Big Picture

Historically one of the dirtiest sectors of the economy, the $6 trillion chemicals industry is responsible for roughly 10% of global energy consumption and 20% of all industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Pollution is produced at every step in their production, from petroleum-derived feedstocks to processing to transportation. On top of that, many chemicals are notoriously unsafe to make.

How it Works

Solugen combines directed evolution of enzymes with machine learning to produce an array of specialty chemicals. These chemicals directly substitute for the combustible and usually toxic petroleum-based versions that are the building blocks of countless industrial and consumer products, like hand sanitizer. Solugen avoids and removes CO₂ at every step, starting with carbon-storing feedstocks.

Unfair Advantage

Solugen makes commodity products at lower cost, higher margin, and significantly lower capex than one of the world’s largest, dirtiest, and slowest-moving industries. Solugen’s first product was hydrogen peroxide. Next came glucaric acid, widely used in water treatment. Now they’ve scaled a platform for enzyme production that will allow them to replicate this process for one chemical after another.


Tons of CO2e

avoided per ton of hydrogen peroxide


Gaurab is a physician-scientist focused on using biology to solve incredibly complex problems. He received an MD/PhD in cancer biology and enzymology from the University of Texas.

Follow: @GaurabC


Previously, Sean was a fuel-cell engineer for the U.S. Navy and a vaccine and API process engineer for Merck. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT.

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