A Northern Irish start-up delivering a key enabling component in evolving carbon capture and storage (CCS) processes has won the cash backing of the Clean Growth Fund.
The commercially run venture fund is partnering with Barclays’ specialist Sustainable Impact Fund to inject £4.4 m into MOF Technologies.
A spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast – pictured -, and based in the city, MOF Tech claims to have developed an energy-efficient solution to isolate carbon, promising lower emissions from cement works, steel works or energy-from-waste plants.
Cement and other heavy industries are estimated to emit over 30% of the globe’s carbon pollution.
MOF Tech claim world-leading expertise in a class of nanomaterials known as metal-organic frameworks. They are crystalline materials able to store, separate, and capture targeted gases like CO₂.
The Belfast firm’s unique technology uses only 20% of the energy burned by traditional technologies such as amine scrubbing when seizing CO₂.
Headed by Dr Conor Hamill and Dr Jose Casaban, the company says it can manufacture the MOFs on an industrial scale in an environmentally friendly way that is both inexpensive and scalable.
The funding will enable MOF Tech to further develop its technology and scale its business.
In May 2022, MOF Tech announced it begin a trial with HeidelbergCement, Cementir Holding and Buzzi Unicem, the world’s dominant trio for cement companies.
Hamill said: “I’m delighted that Clean Growth Fund and Barclays have chosen to invest in our company. The willingness of these two leading funders in cleantech reinforces our own confidence in our work and gives us scope to expand our operations in Belfast and secure new business opportunities. With our cost-competitive end of pipe system, we can make commercial carbon capture a reality and a key part of the climate solution.”
His co-chief executive Casaban said: “We are thrilled to work with Clean Growth Fund and Barclays to accelerate the roll out of our unique MOF-based CO₂ capture technology to deliver against the pressing demand from heavy industries to meet their Net Zero targets.”
Clean Growth Fund’s investment director Stephen Price said: “Given the challenges facing industries like cement and steel to cut their CO₂ emissions and their energy use, we are excited about the massive potential for MOF Tech across the world.
“With our investment, alongside the commercialisation support that we offer to all of the companies in our investment portfolio, I’m confident that MOF Tech can quickly become a sought-after technology provider to heavy industries across the world who need to decarbonise as a matter of urgency.”