Carbominer is developing new CO₂ direct air capture technology to help greenhouse growers switch to sustainable CO₂.
In September 2021 we successfully built our MVP DAC unit. After that, we tested our DAC unit in the intended environment – at Carbominer’s facility at our premises in Kyiv, Ukraine.
We raised 4 follow-on rounds from leading Ukrainian investor SMRK VC (portfolio includes: Ajax Systems, Preply, Esper Bionics).
EU countries have a total of 220K ha of the greenhouses' area, and we estimate that market as $6.7 billion.
This market is rapidly growing – the estimation is CAGR 11.3% for global smart greenhouse market and CAGR 18,7% for the whole controlled-environment agriculture market (greenhouses, vertical farms, etc.).
We target global controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) and smart greenhouse markets. These markets grow fast - at CAGR 18,7% and CAGR 11.3%, respectively.
Our first target market is greenhouse growers in Spain, the modern ones in the Northern part of the country (5k ha). We think that it would be easier to reach them as they are used to new technologies. We estimate that market as $150 million.
After that, we plan to scale to EU, so our Total Market is 220K ha of greenhouses in the EU. And we estimate that market as $6.7 billion.
Problem or Opportunity
Greenhouse growers need CO₂ to promote plant growth by 25-30% depending on crop type. The problem is two-wise – the current grower supply chain is neither cheap (fuel prices are volatile and rising due to the crisis), nor sustainable (carbon footprint is high). We can bring both to the table by providing our fossil-free CO₂ from the open air locally and affordable CO₂ of DAC origin (the cost is below $300 per ton).
Solution (product or service)
We have developed a technology that efficiently captures CO₂ from the open air.
Our main product is a climate-friendly CO₂ captured from the open air locally, near the target greenhouse. As we offer clean CO₂ it solves two clients problems at once: increasing crops yield and decreasing the carbon footprint of their farming cycle. Our competitive advantages are sustainability of the CO₂ captured and ability to set the affordable price due to the transportability of our capturing modules.
The direct competition include other solutions to get the CO₂ for greenhouse (burning fossil-fuels, buy liquified CO2). Our competitive advantages here are both sustainability and the cheaper price of the CO₂ captured. The average market price in the EU being €170–195/ton. Our target price now is €135 per ton. Besides that, providing “green” (captured from the air) CO₂ to greenhouse operators is possible for other DAC (direct air capture) startups, like Climeworks (Switzerland), Carbon Engineering (Canada), Global Thermostat (US), GreenCap Solutions (Norway).
Advantages or differentiators
Our competitive advantages in the DAC field are:
1. Exclusive focus on greenhouses that will give us possibility to innovate faster in this field
2. Local CO₂ capture and sales (we have transportable capturing units designed for on-site use, no capital expenditures needed from client)
3. Disruptive price (we plan to achieve the low cost of CO₂ captured, and set the CO2 price lower than gas open market offers)
4. Offering Microclimate Monitoring System as a marketing tool – ‘door-opener’ (our unique value proposition)
5. Flexible product offerings approach (GreenCap offers a closed-loop solution, and other operate huge capturing plants)
Our main revenue stream is sales of CO2. With our target client being an active and innovative grower with 0.5 - 5 ha of greenhouse area (or equivalent vertical farm), we expect rather quick market growth with "word-of-mouth" recommendations.
We are not going to sell our Direct Capture Units, our Business Model would be CO₂ as a service with direct sales B2B. We are going to sell sustainable CO₂ to greenhouse growers in the EU.
Our project has the following risks, related to:
1. Price wars – as more and more countries become climate change aware, we expect that updated policies will force more and more companies with significant emissions to install CO₂ capturing equipment and, as finding a CO₂ storage could be a challenge, they can decide to sell CO₂ captured on the open market as a commodity.
Our assessment of this risk: MEDIUM.
2. Intellectual property – as our patent applications to US PTO are still applications, and no patents were awarded to us so far, there is a certain risk that similar patents will be awarded to some competing entity earlier.
Our assessment of this risk: LOW TO MEDIUM.
3. Competitors – our key competitors can achieve low cost faster than we do.
Our assessment of this risk: LOW (as they already struggled to do it for 5 to 10 years)
4. Technology – there is still some risk that our technology, while working fine in a semi-industrial environment, will be difficult to scale to industrial level and field conditions.
Our assessment of this risk: LOW.
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
1) EnergySpin Accelerator September – November 2019
2) EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator April – November 2020
3) Cleantech Camp by InnoEnergy May – September 2021
Won the competition and other awards
- #1 winners in ClimateLaunchpad National Final in Ukraine - September 2019
- Got to TOP 16 projects worldwide in Global competition in ClimateLaunchpad in November 2019
- #1 winner in Open Innovation Tech Challenge in October 2021 - $10k grant