We have frequently posted on the progress of New Zealand company Carbonscape, and it’s a pleasure to report that they have just taken a runner-up prize in the international Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge co-sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), receiving a grant of €100,000 (NZ $156,600). The mission of the CGI is to “forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges”.
Carbonscape made the short list of three finalists from more than 500 other contestants. It’s a reminder of how active innovative entrepreneurs around the world are working on a host of ideas which are waiting in the wings for the global community to turn away from an economy based on fossil fuels.
CarbonScape uses its patented continuous-flow microwave technology in what they describe as an energy self-sufficient process to convert wood and other waste into high-value graphite, Activated Carbon (AC), and metallurgical coke. All products are made from renewable feed stocks and in the case of both graphite and coke replace fossil fuels. AC is a molecular filter used in diverse applications including water treatment and flue gas scrubbing.
Their press release points out that widespread introduction of their renewable ‘green coke’ to replace fossil fuels such as coal in the steel industry would significantly impact total global greenhouse gas emissions. The company has already signed a deal with a large New Zealand steel manufacturer to supply 9000 tonnes of green coke for 2013. To fulfil the order, however, they need to expand their Blenheim plant to commercial production, and director Tim Langley explains that winning the grant will help them go ahead with the plant. “It also opens so many doors and will fast-track our international development.”
Fellow director Nick Gerritson was in New York to present the company’s business case to the audience and receive the award. His comments afterwards seem well justified.
“I’m completely blown away not only by winning this prize but also by the level of excitement and interest we’re generating from potential investors and customers, world leaders and media.
“It’s been a long, hard road since we started in 2006 but we knew we had a winner in our technology. This success is down to our hard-working team in New Zealand and the faith a small group of investors have shown in us. I’m immensely grateful to all of them.”
We wish them well in their continuing enterprise.