CarbonScape is a carbon-refining company that uses forestry waste to make Green Coke and other substitutes for fossil fuel products. Green Coke replaces traditional coke, which is a form of high-quality carbon made from mineral coal used to fuel furnaces during the steel making process.
The cleantech industry is booming right now and is the fastest growing industry group in a number of countries. Two-thirds of the world’s power is still produced from coal. With China recently committing to a coal-free future and the Rockefeller Family announcing its intention to divest itself of $60 billion worth of investments in fossil fuels, we believe renewable coal is an industry about to explode. In response, CarbonScape has produced the equivalent of a time machine; making in 18 minutes what nature forms over sixty million years.
CarbonScape is a Marlborough-based New Zealand company passionate about applying smart, profitable technologies to help heal the Earth’s ecosystem. The company was born from a misread recipe for cooking a potato in a domestic microwave oven. The microwave oven came off second best but the potato was transformed into high-quality Green Coke.
Twenty years later the company has tamed the microwave oven and discovered a range of powerful benefits that are set to transform sectors of global heavy industry with cost-competitive, renewable “green chemicals” and high-value carbon products that leave coal in the ground. These benefits have won the company international attention. CarbonScape was one of only five companies out of 216 to make the shortlist and won the Judge's Choice in the 2009 (UK) Financial Times Climate Change Challenge. In 2012 CarbonScape was shortlisted out of 509 of the world’s best cleantech technologies for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, and after judging in Amsterdam and New York was named runner up, winning $178,000.
CarbonScape has a world-leading, patented technology, which we believe puts us years ahead of the pack.
Commercialisation has started with a Supply Agreement with New Zealand Steel for 9,000 tonnes of Green Coke. After significant testing we believe that the production of Green Coke is a more cost-efficient way of producing coke and associated by-products than existing industry methods. Commercialisation gives us the opportunity to prove this at scale. The company’s vision is to deploy its technology globally to create a virtuous circle of benefits to heavy industry, investors, and the environment.
Kiwis are an ecologically conscious lot and this is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the current issues affecting the environment while allowing the public to invest in their own international award winning company that’s about to change the world. It is also the first time the New Zealand public have been able to invest in a local cleantech company at such an early stage, providing the exciting opportunity for Kiwis to invest right before our company commercialises and enters the massive international market.
We are targeting a raise of $400,000 with a funding cap of $1.5m at a company valuation of NZ$8.86m and maximum equity share of 14.48%. The capital raised will be used for construction of an 80 tonne capacity pilot plant, lodging a new patent, the appointment of two new non-executive directors, and further R&D. This will enable our technologies to be rolled out into the commercial environment – the next step in the development of CarbonScape. The capital being raised through Snowball Effect is part of a wider financing plan to secure $3.5m over the next 12 months. This will fund upscaling of the pilot plant to 400 tonne capacity. CarbonScape has raised $2.9m from previous investment rounds, attracting a number of offshore investors.
The best business: making money by doing good.
CarbonScape’s Green Coke is renewable, sustainable, inherently stable, chemically-superior, and price competitive compared with coking coal.
Substituting fossilised carbon with renewable carbon has an immediate commercial benefit: generating high-quality steel. Around the world, coking coal is most widely used to provide the carbon needed for steel production because the technology has not existed to make renewable carbon at a competitive price. However, in nations with a surfeit of biomass and limited access to fossil fuels – such as Brazil – charcoal is routinely used, though this tends to be of a lower grade and is itself produced with inefficient, “dirty” technology.
As an alternative, CarbonScape’s process can produce Green Coke at a competitive price, making it of extreme interest to the steel industry, as evidenced by the supply contract signed with NZ Steel and their on-going technical support to CarbonScape. Alongside this exciting engagement with the industry, the World Steel Association has named the mitigation of climate change the most urgent and pressing issue for its global members.
CarbonScape’s carbon products are cost-competitive compared to fossil fuels because of the valuable chemical by-products and energy that can be recycled during the conversion process.
CarbonScape’s technology offers a low-cost method for producing a high specific fuel for the manufacture of steel products on-demand. The CarbonScape process transforms woody material (sawdust or wood chips) into renewable high-grade solid fuel for steel making, using microwave energy to rapidly and efficiently convert the biomass into highly pure carbon. The resulting fuel has a highly desirable high carbon content, low sulphur and low nitrogen while the process offers a significant cost reduction, a fuel highly tailored for steel production, and environmental advantages compared with traditional methods.
By effectively harnessing the nature of industrial microwave heating technology, the overall energy required to transform biomass into carbon products is low compared to traditional routes. A major reason for this is the ability to directly target feedstocks and products rather than heating large oven spaces and surfaces. In combination with high-quality heat recovery systems and transformation of energy-rich gas co-products into electricity, it is possible to engineer the overall process to be energy self-sufficient.
Within its available resources, CarbonScape continues to:
After six years of development, five iterations of its equipment suite, the perfecting of several proprietary technologies and the production and testing of hundreds of product samples, the time is ripe for CarbonScape to scale-up to pilot production, deliver trial batches and capture exciting market opportunities.
The first formally engaged customer for CarbonScape’s steelmaking fuel is New Zealand Steel Ltd, owned by BlueScope Steel of Australia. The potential benefits for NZ Steel are simplicity, highly tailored fuels, and economic competitiveness. To CarbonScape, the NZ Steel alignment means the potential simplicity of huge market volume through a single customer channel. Furthermore, the cultural fit is good as NZ Steel are supportive of substituting alternative feedstocks for coking material having built their own traditional processes around the ingenious use of low-grade Huntly coals normally unsuitable for steelmaking. They have excellent in-house technical services for development and process engineers to support the challenges for future scale-up.
It's crucial for you to understand the characteristics and risks of this investment opportunity. New Zealand law normally requires people who offer financial products to provide in-depth information to investors before they invest. The usual rules do not apply to offers by companies through Snowball Effect. As a result, you may not be given all the information you need to make an informed decision. Investing is risky. Some of the key risks include loss of capital, illiquidity, lack of returns, dilution, loss of key people and customers, and lack of control. You should only invest money that you can afford to lose.