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It started with Lucy.

After reading a newspaper article about a cow named Lucy and the vast amount of carbon flowing into the air from power plants, farms, and other places, we thought:


there must be some way to use greenhouse gas as a resource.



water + minerals

water + minerals




water + minerals

water + minerals

Every day, microorganisms in the ocean eat methane and carbon dioxide as food, and turn it into a biomaterial called PHB.

Since it is meltable, PHB can be used as a

replacement for plastic, fiber, and leather.

So, our founding goal was simple: mimic this natural process on land.


Step 1:

find the right microorganism.

Step 2:

give them a home on land.

All we had to do was find the microorganisms in nature that could do it, and figure out what they needed to be happy to make PHB efficiently on land. Unfortunately, this had not been done before.

Step 3: 

figure out what makes them happy to produce PHB biomaterial from air and greenhouse gas. 

It turns out, there is.

Our view back then was the same as it is today: 


that large-scale impact requires the ability

to compete on performance and price.

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First, it was a napkin sketch.

After finding microorganisms in California that could convert air and greenhouse gas dissolved in saltwater into PHB, we had to figure out how to get them to do that in a scalable way.

Then, it was a pilot plant.

In our pilot plant from 2007 to 2017, we made advances in reactor design, biocatalyst design, purification, and material performance.  


Newlight's Generation 5 pilot production reactor

Our aim: produce a cost-effective, high-performance,
carbon-negative biomaterial.

After 10 years of research,

 we were able to do that.

Biomaterial of the Year

2013, Nova Institute

R&D 100 Award

2013, R&D Magazine

Innovation of the Year

2014, Popular Science

Company of the Year

2014, CleanTech OC

Technology Excellence Award

2014, PC Magazine

Technology Pioneer Award

2014, World Economic Forum


Leadership Award

2015, Energy Vision

New Energy Pioneer Award

2016, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Bloomberg

Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

2016, US EPA

Newlight's pilot plant from 2007-2017.


Finally, it was an Eagle.

In 2019, we built Eagle 3: the world's first fully-integrated commercial-scale production system using air and greenhouse gas to make our biomaterial, AirCarbon.

Eagle 3 is the world's first commercial-scale operation harnessing 
microorganisms found in nature to pull carbon out of greenhouse gas and turn it into a resource 

Newlight's Eagle 3 production reactor

water + minerals

renewable energy



filter and wash

dry to powder

quantifiably reducing the flow of carbon into the environment as it operates, and making biomaterials that help the environment heal.

From one, many.

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