Mission Zero Technologies, a direct air capture technology startup, has raised £4 million seed financing.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Anglo American have backed the London company, which will use the new investment to expand and accelerate its R&D activities and business operations – including delivery of both its 120 tons/year pilot plant and a subsequent planned first commercial project.

As part of the current round, the company welcomes two experienced additions as board members – Dr Mark Hartney from BEV and Mark Freed from Anglo American – to provide expert steering for the company’s rapid growth.

MZT was created in 2020 from a collaboration between global mining company Anglo American and venture creators Deep Science Ventures (DSV) which aimed to identify impactful ideas for accelerating decarbonisation pathways across key industries. 

Prior capital was provided through pre-seed investment from Anglo American and DSV. MZT has also received a grant from the payments company Stripe for carrying out early-stage R&D, and via non-dilutive funding provided by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to design a first pilot plant. 

Most recently, MZT’s 1000 t/y carbon removal collaboration with carbon sequestration company 44.01, entitled Project Hajar, was awarded $1m as one of 15 Milestone Prize winners for the XPRIZE Carbon Removal, a $100m competition backed by entrepreneur Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation.

“Going from concept to pilot and then to commercial scale in less than half a decade speaks volumes about how the world views our market’s potential as hyper-critical,” said Dr Shiladitya Ghosh, CPO of MZT. 

“This milestone is the first of many in our journey to fulfilling that potential aided with early backing from government, industry, and society.”

Engineered carbon removal approaches such as DAC are critical for meeting global Net Zero ambitions as they can counterbalance industrial emissions that are the most difficult to directly abate, such as those associated with aviation and shipping. 

To achieve this, the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – expects that global DAC capacity to the tune of at least 5 gigatonnes/year will be required before 2050, necessitating a multi-trillion-dollar carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) industry. 

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MZT projects that its solution, at scale, will play a major role in this market by capturing atmospheric CO2 at well under $100/ton and delivering it on-site to end users or sequestration facilities.

“It goes without saying that climate change is the existential crisis of our time – anthropogenic emissions are slowly baking us all to death. We need to get really good at capturing and using our own emissions and channel them into a Gigatonne-scale supply chain of CO2… this is ultimately what is required to decarbonise our lives,” said Dr Nicholas Chadwick, CEO of MZT.

“Fundamentally CO2 must become the carbon backbone of everything we make, do and consume.”