The impressive Bay Area-based startup, Twelve, is on a mission to replace petrochemicals at a large scale so that it can significantly slash global energy emissions—something that we urgently need to do for our species’ survival.
Converting CO2 into something useful
How will they do it? Well, Twelve’s chief science officer Etosha Cave, and Twelve’s cofounder Kendra Kuhl, have developed technology at Stanford University that can convert carbon dioxide pollution into ingredients for products like plastic and jet fuel that are currently made from petroleum.
“In theory, it can become anything that you can make from petroleum,” explains Cave, who is working with Kuhl and the other co-founder, Nicholas Flanders, to commercialize their technology.
Their carbon-transformation process uses a metal catalyst and renewable energy to break CO2 and water molecules into tiny atomic bits. Then, these bits are re-formed into new chemicals that can be used in manufacturing.
So far, Twelve has already partnered with the Air Force to make jet fuel from CO2 and has demonstrated to Daimler and Procter & Gamble that it can recreate ingredients required to manufacture car parts.
“We see ourselves doing CO2 conversion as a service, as well as enabling the CO2-made material by embedding within supply chains,” Cave says. Since the new chemicals are a one-for-one replacement, Twelve’s clients can lower their carbon footprints without sacrificing product performance.
The startup has already raised $57 million last summer that will be used to scale their process at an industrial level.