A CHF 100’000 loan to NeoCarbons and its sustainable CO2 conversion technology
NeoCarbons intends to fight global warming in a sustainable, innovative and profitable way thanks to its unique micro-algae farming technology that removes excess CO2 from the atmosphere. The cleantech start-up has just obtained a CHF 100’000 Tech Seed loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) to support its development.
NeoCarbons has developed a unique technology to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere by cleverly converting it using cutting-edge equipment – a microalgae-based high productivity bioreactor. The process generates a wide variety of high value-added compounds, such as fatty acids, spirulina or pigments: a major advantage for manufacturers in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
“The current technologies available for photosynthesis essentially rely on the sun as a free supplier of photons. But the sun is neither powerful enough nor efficient enough to treat industrial CO2 loads”, explains NeoCarbons’ team. Based on this observation, the start-up looked at ways to recycle this gas in a “green” way, while generating a real return on investment. “We wanted to create a process that mimics nature, at low cost and controllable.” That’s where NeoCarbons’ bioreactor comes in.
The light sources are placed within the growing culture to ensure that the microalgae get the exact amount of energy they need to grow, no matter where they are in the culture. Microalgae are thus able to recycle industrial CO2 emissions in real time, while generating compounds with very high added value (pigments, sugars, spirulina, etc.) and thus creating a significant return on investment.
As a highly available, fast, and inexpensive resource, microalgae stand out as the ideal organism because they also operate at room temperature with normal pressure. The reactor, itself very economical, requires very little space and is 2 orders of magnitude as productive as existing technologies. It also reduces the amount of water lost in the production of microalgae due to a fully recyclable process. All of this is fully in line with the sustainable development approach desired from the outset by the project leaders.
NeoCarbons was born under the impetus of Jean-Louis Roux Dit Buisson and Dr. Thomas Gees, two complementary profiles with proven experience in the development and growth of technology companies, and solid backgrounds combining engineering, chemistry, technology and business. The NeoCarbons team is collaborating with the ZHAW in Wadenswil, one of the most advanced bioengineering academies in Switzerland, as part of a project funded by InnoSuisse to validate an industrial pilot on site. And the company was a winner (2nd of 3 selected start-ups) of Climate Kick in 2017.
2021 will be devoted to the validation of semi-industrial equipment, the setting up of R&D structures and the commercial development of the start-up. The CHF 100’000 Tech Seed loan awarded by FIT will be invested in test equipment and the hiring of new employees. According to the team: “This loan will greatly help NeoCarbons in accelerating its development plans for 2021!”.
Jean-Louis Roux Dit Buisson
CEO and co-founder