Newlight Raises $9.2 Million in Series C Financing Round to Expand AirCarbon Commercialization: Newlight to expand the commercial-scale production of AirCarbon using patented greenhouse gas-to-plastic technology
Original article – PR Newswire
IRVINE, Calif., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Newlight Technologies, a company changing the way we think about carbon emissions by using greenhouse gas as a high-value resource to produce cost-effective, carbon-negative AirCarbon plastics, has successfully completed a Series C financing round, raising $9.2 million from both new and existing investors, and bringing the company’s total capital raise to $18.8 million.
“Today, over ten years after our founding, Newlight is converting greenhouse gases such as methane into sustainable, carbon-negative plastics at commercial scale, producing a thermoplastic material in AirCarbon that can replace oil-based plastics by matching on performance and significantly out-competing on price,” said Mark Herrema, CEO of Newlight. “This funding reinforces the strength of our market position, from our products to our patents to our groundbreaking technology, and will allow Newlight to reach its next phase of commercialization objectives: significantly expanding our commercial production capacity, and moving the company further towards its goal of replacing oil-based plastics with carbon-negative AirCarbon thermoplastics on a global scale.”
Newlight has developed a disruptive greenhouse gas conversion technology to convert air and greenhouse gas into high-performance sustainable plastics. Due to the high heat-trapping potential of methane compared to carbon dioxide, the company’s primary focus is on sequestering methane-based greenhouse gases, which have over 20 times the heat-trapping impact of carbon dioxide. Newlight is now using the company’s patented, award-winning methane-to-PHA bioconversion technology to convert methane (such as biogas) from farms, water treatment plants, and municipal landfills into a high-value PHA-based thermoplastic material called AirCarbon at commercial scale.
AirCarbon is a PHA-based thermoplastic made by pulling carbon out of greenhouse gas to form a long chain thermoplastic molecule that can match the performance of oil-based plastics. Using Newlight’s breakthrough microorganism-based 9X biocatalyst, which generates a polymer conversion yield that is over nine times higher than previous methane-to-PHA conversion technologies and fundamentally shifts the cost structure of greenhouse gas to plastic conversion, AirCarbon can significantly out-compete oil-based plastics, such as polypropylene and polyethylene, on price.
In 2013, after ten years of continuous pilot and demonstration scale operations, Newlight scaled up its patented GHG-to-AirCarbon production process to commercial scale at a four-story, multi-million pound per year production facility in California, converting captured methane from an anaerobic digester into carbon-negative AirCarbon thermoplastic. Also in 2013, Newlight unveiled the world’s first carbon-negative product made using AirCarbon, launching the AirCarbon chair at the Greenbuild International Conference in Philadelphia.
Newlight is now working with Fortune 500 partners to launch carbon-negative AirCarbon products across a range of market segments, including in automotive, electronics, construction, apparel, and other market segments: products that maintain performance, significantly reduce cost, and reverse the flow of carbon out of the air. Simultaneously, to meet demand for AirCarbon, Newlight is preparing to significantly expand the company’s greenhouse gas-to-plastic manufacturing capacity with the commissioning of a 50 million-pound per year production facility over the coming quarters.
Newlight Technologies (www.newlight.com) is a sustainable materials company using a breakthrough microorganism-based biotechnology process to convert air and greenhouse gas into carbon-negative thermoplastics that can replace oil-based plastics at commodity scale.
Founded in 2003, Newlight has invented, patented, and commercialized AirCarbon™, a material made from air and greenhouse gas (such as methane) that can match the performance of oil-based plastics while out-competing on price, representing a market-driven solution to carbon capture. Following critical breakthroughs on process yield and product performance, overcoming classical and longstanding challenges to the microorganism-based conversion of greenhouse gas into PHA-based materials, AirCarbon is currently being used to manufacture furniture, bags, caps, and a variety of other products, with partners including Fortune 500 companies and brand-name market leaders.
In recognition of the company’s technological and commercialization achievements, Newlight was named “Most Innovative Company of the Year” in 2013, and AirCarbon was named “Biomaterial of the Year” and “Tech Innovation of the Year” in 2013. Newlight also received a R&D 100 Award for AirCarbon in 2013 as “one of the 100 most technologically significant innovations of the year.”