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Carbon Bridge
Better Fuels Through Biology
Founded
2021
Employees*
5
Funding to Date*
$1,037,000
Website
carbonbridge.io
* Data source: Crunchbase
Manu Pillai, co-founder and CEO of CarbonBridge
“CarbonBridge isn’t about collecting carbon credits. We’re creating an alternative fuels company that will eliminate 1.5 gigatons of carbon emissions from fossil fuels by 2050, at latest, enabling economies to grow and raise living standards without harming our climate.”
Global maritime shipping accounts for up to 3% of CO2 emissions but over 12% of greenhouse gas pollution due to its reliance on bunker oil, a notoriously dirty fuel. The bunker oil market is estimated to reach $164.9 billion by 2030, up 50% from 2020, meaning that shipping emissions will increase significantly without a cleaner alternative.

Maritime shipping, aviation, and trucking will account for at least a tenth of global CO2 emissions by 2030 and cannot be electrified anytime soon. To meet EU emissions standards, cargo operators are already ordering methanol-powered ships. However, green methanol is currently produced using energy-intensive processes, resulting in a greenish fuel that can’t compete with oil on price—which is key to rapid adoption.

CarbonBridge is developing a low-heat, low-pressure microbial process that upcycles carbon dioxide and methane into liquid methanol using a patent-pending bioreactor. Here’s the kicker: CarbonBridge can source those gasses inexpensively from over 16,000 US wastewater treatment facilities that normally burn them off. Easily stored and transported with existing fuel infrastructure, methanol can also be upgraded into aviation fuel, diesel, and plastics like polyurethane.

CarbonBridge was founded by entrepreneur Manu Pillai, engineer William Koutny, and biologist Sophia Xu. The company will decarbonize heavy transportation starting in 2025 by unlocking energy from plentiful wastewater feeds.