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Athos Bioindustries
Carbon sequestration at the speed of microbes
Funding to Date*
* Data source: Crunchbase
Gabriel Villar, co-founder and CEO of Athos Bioindustries
"Mining supplies essential raw materials for everyday products and the clean energy transition. However, the industry accounts for at least 8% of global carbon emissions. Athos’ mission is to tackle sustainability head-on by empowering the mining sector to transform its alkaline waste into valuable resources and a carbon removal solution.”
The world’s mine tailings and similar waste streams are thought to contain over $3.4 trillion worth of unrecovered minerals and gigaton-level carbon sequestration potential.

The global mining industry produces 100 billion tons of waste every year. Often, these waste streams represent environmental hazards, added costs and liabilities for operations, and contain valuable minerals. 

Athos Bio is developing bio-mineralization technology that mitigates this waste, transforming it into a medium for permanent carbon storage and the recovery of valuable mineral commodities. The team uses microbial consortia to drive efficient mineralization reactions at ambient temperatures and pressures in bioreactors, overcoming the pitfalls of energy-intensive mineralization technologies.

Athos’s bio-mineralization process can sequester three metric tons of CO2 per four tons of mafic feedstocks (i.e., silicate rocks rich in magnesium and iron) while producing three tons of carbonates and other mineral products. Carbonates, normally mined at significant  environmental cost, are used in cosmetics, food production, pharmaceuticals, and building materials, among other things. Down the road, Athos aims to recover nickel, zinc, copper, gold, platinum, and more from mining waste. 

Athos Bio was founded by Gabriel Villar, Matt LaRosa, and Liz Muntean, who previously worked together in the AgTech space. They have extensive experience with developing functional microbial consortia solutions. At IndieBio, they are screening microbes for functional chemistry, assembling and testing consortia, and prototyping a reactor for their bio-mineralization process. At scale, their work could turn mining waste into a valuable commodity, all while fighting climate change.