Our Technology | Out of Air, Into Plastic
Every day, plants pull carbon out of the air we breathe and use it to make useful materials.
Imagine if we could do the same.
Inspired by carbon-capturing processes found in nature, Newlight has developed, patented, and commercialized a carbon capture technology that pulls carbon out of an air stream to produce a plastic-like material called AirCarbon that can match the performance of oil-based plastics and significantly out-compete on price.
The AirCarbon production process begins with carbon that would otherwise become a part of the air, such as methane-based carbon generated from sources such as farms, landfills, water treatment plants, and energy production sites.
First, that carbon is captured, diluted with air, and inserted into Newlight's polymerization system. Once inside, the air stream is contacted with Newlight's biocatalyst--the breakthrough engine behind AirCarbon production process, operating at nearly an order of magnitude higher yield than previous biocatalysts.
Newlight's biocatalyst works by separating carbon from an air stream, and then re-assembling that carbon into a long chain of carbon to form a plastic molecule called AirCarbon.
AirCarbon is then removed from the reactor system and processed into a pellet, which can then be melted and formed into shapes as a replacement for oil-based plastics.
Beginning in 2003, Newlight’s technology has been in development for over ten years, and continuously operated on a variety of gas sources over multiple years of operations. The AirCarbon production process was scaled to commercial scale for the first time in 2013, with the successful commissioning of a four-story, multi-acre AirCarbon production operation in California, USA, using air and methane-based carbon generated at a farm as inputs to produce material that would otherwise be made from oil.
Newlight’s conversion technology can synthesize high-performance thermoplastics from a wide range of sources, including from carbon generated at farms, water treatment plants, landfills, and energy facilities.
Clean. Cost-Effective. Carbon-Negative.
Imagine the possibilities.TM>>
The Newlight GHG-to-PlasticTM Process
|Capture: First, air and captured carbon are directed into Newlight's patented conversion reactor.|
|Isolate: Next, the air-based input stream is contacted with Newlight's biocatalyst, which works by separating carbon out of an air stream.|
|Polymerize: Finally, isolated carbon is re-assembled and linked together into a long chain thermopolymer, called AirCarbon.|