Carbominer is developing a CO₂ direct air capture technology to fuel a transformation towards a more sustainable indoor agriculture ecosystem.
Our goal is to change the conventional CO₂ supply chain for growers and offer them a more cost-efficient and climate-friendly option, by sourcing CO₂ from the open air.
Tell us about yourself?
My background is in Marketing – I have Masters in Communications, I’ve worked as a Digital marketer for 5 years, both agency side and client side.
As a totally eco-minded person, I am proud to be a part of cleantech sector, as I see that my day-to-day work contributes to a positive environmental change in the long run.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Well, two years ago, I have changed my workplace for Carbominer. When COVID-19 started, fun office hours with colleagues turned into rather lonely “work from home” mode, and without the social part, I started to feel especially acute that things which I am doing suddenly lack sense, well, at least to me.
So, probably my biggest advice would be to do something in this life what really has impact, make your day-to-day routine really matter.
You anyway need to work, so why not to spend your energy for something crucial for the planet and the society? 😉
What problem does your business solve?
Greenhouse growers need CO₂ to promote plants’ growth by 25-30% depending on crop type.
Fuel prices are rising, and carbon footprint taxation is evolving, resulting in greenhouse growers’ need for external cost-effective and climate-friendly CO₂ to boost their plants’ growth.
The problem is two-wise – the current grower’s supply chain is neither cheap (fuel prices are volatile and rising due to the crisis), nor sustainable (carbon footprint is high).
We can bring both to the table by providing our fossil-free CO₂ from the open air locally and relatively affordable CO₂ of DAC origin.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Our project started from the idea of leaving this world as a safe place to live for the future generation. From the very beginning, our goal was to remove dangerous to climate CO₂ from the atmosphere.
When we started to look into potential use cases of this, basically fossil-free CO₂, and saw a clear rising need in the indoor agriculture sector – and the ability to serve this need before others, as one of few pioneering companies.
What’s more, the controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) and smart greenhouse markets are growing fast – at CAGR 11.3% and CAGR 18.7%, respectively.
What is your magic sauce?
Our technology is of course our biggest differentiator. It gives us our two biggest advantages – sustainability of the CO₂ captured and ability to set the affordable price on it.
All in all, our technological advantage lies in three aspects:
1) using a combination of dry and wet capture,
2) using electrochemistry for CO₂ regeneration (allows for use of the intermittent renewable energy)
3) patent pending passive air contactor as a means for further cost reduction.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In 5 years – Carbominer is among TOP 5 Direct Air Capture startups, helping businesses decarbonize their operations in various markets.
To get there, we need to put our technology to pilot validation, raise late-seed round of $1.5M, build our own production facility, start sales of the CO₂ and raise Series A to facilitate the scale.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge in the past 3 years for our business was the full-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine.
Not only were we forced to suspend operations for almost 2 months in Kyiv premises to guarantee the employee safety, but also, we now face many of the drawbacks of war-related country status.
That includes delays in supplies, restrictions for the men to leave the country, even for business activities, e.g. pilots, client visits, investor summits, difficulties to attract capital.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
We invite indoor agriculture players – greenhouse growers, vertical farmers – to reach out and start collaborating with us.
As well, we are looking forward to speaking with potential investors, signing up for both Seed and Series A rounds.