once there was a cow named Lucy, who had bad gas.
and so our journey began.
after reading a newspaper article in June 2003 called "Getting the Cows to Cool It" about carbon going into the air, we wondered if there was another way—what can we agree on:
what can greenhouse gas do that nothing else can?
first over a kitchen table with sticky notes, then in dorm rooms, then at a university lab, and finally from a converted car garage in California, we worked to answer this question.
we built. we learned.
10 years later, something happened.
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and a new chapter began.
we discovered early on that it was possible to use greenhouse gas to make a special material:
a meltable energy molecule made by all living things that could be turned into solid products, and broken down as food by microorganisms into water and greenhouse gas, creating a regenerative supply system, like trees and tree leaves and coral reef in the ocean.
it turns out that greenhouse gas, whether in the air or ocean, is nature's favorite building block—what it uses to grow—and also its answer to large-scale recycling: distillation and reformation into material using the air as a global-scale material reservoir, allowing life on earth to breathe through its natural cycles of growth, decay, and rebirth—this is something only greenhouse gas can do.
unfortunately, despite important efforts prior to newlight, the process to produce this material was still too inefficient to be scaled.
so, we set out to try to change that, starting with hardware store parts, internet searches, and a healthy ignorance for what we didn't know. along the way, we were fortunate to attract some of the most incredible people in the world.
after 10 years of learning, some setbacks, a handful of key advances, and steady progress, we grew from a test tube in 2003 to increasingly large scale. in August 2013, 10 years after we started, we turned on a 50-foot tall reactor using our technology at large scale for the first time, and made material from air and greenhouse gas.