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Launch HN: Remora (YC W21) – Carbon capture for semi trucks
304 points by paulgross on March 10, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 196 comments
Hi HN!

I'm Paul, one of the co-founders of Remora (https://remoracarbon.com). Remora is building a device that captures the carbon emissions from a semi truck. Our device mounts between the truck and its trailer, attaches to its tailpipes, and captures at least 80% of its carbon emissions. We will sell the captured carbon dioxide to concrete producers and other end users, helping companies earn new revenue while meeting their climate commitments.

We decided to start Remora because we believe electrification won't work for long-haul trucking. Bill Gates agrees: “Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology,” he wrote, “electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers" [1].

Before Remora, my co-founder, Eric, built hydrogen and electric semi trucks. He saw first hand that these trucks have far less payload capacity and range, plus the batteries lose > 40% of their range in cold weather [2]. We also knew that electrification means building a new network of stations with enough charging capacity for semi trucks, replacing every truck on the road, and overhauling the grid, which is still 63% fossil fuels in the US [3]. So we thought:

Why can't we just capture the carbon emissions from the trucks' tailpipes?

Turns out, my co-founder, Christina, spent her entire PhD answering this question [3]. Mobile carbon capture was first proposed about a decade ago, but academics dismissed it in favor of stationary carbon capture for power plants. The problem with stationary capture, though, is that it takes tens of millions of dollars upfront to design those systems, and they have to be tailored to a specific plant—it’s impossible to make a cheap, modular unit that can be manufactured at scale.

So Christina became the first person to test adsorbents (the materials that selectively capture carbon dioxide) in the specific conditions of diesel exhaust. Surprisingly, the adsorbent that worked best was a naturally-occurring mineral that is cheaply available in mass quantities. Christina built a proof of concept to test in the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Lab, and it worked.

While I was finishing my senior year at Yale, I read Christina’s dissertation online. I called her up to ask a bunch of questions and we hit it off. After more conversations, I wrote her a business plan and convinced her to quit her new job at the EPA to start Remora. Then, we sent a blurb to every professor at the top 15 engineering schools, interviewed ~ 50 engineers, and found Eric.

Now, we’ve completed our first working prototype and we’re currently testing it on our truck. Here’s how it works: First, we condition the truck’s exhaust to lower its temperature and humidity, then we run it through a bed of pellets that selectively captures carbon dioxide, letting the other gases escape. When the bed is saturated, we heat the pellets to release the carbon dioxide, which we compress into a tank inside the device. To ensure continuous operation, the device includes two beds: while the first is heated, the truck’s exhaust flows through the second; when the second is saturated, they switch, and so on. This process is very energy efficient because we’re able to use the waste heat from the truck’s exhaust to heat the pellets.

Our first units will be capturing carbon dioxide on customers’ trucks by August. By the end of the year, we’ll have 40 units on the road capturing ~ 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide per week—the equivalent of planting 248,000 trees [5]. We will start by selling this carbon dioxide to concrete producers and other end users, but as we grow, we will earn tax credits for permanently sequestering the carbon dioxide deep underground.

Long term, if we pair our technology with biofuels, we can make a truck carbon negative. We also hope to apply it to other hard-to-electrify forms of long-haul transportation, like cargo ships.

We’re excited to hear your questions, concerns, and feedback! I’ll be responding to comments all day, or please feel free to shoot me an email at hello@remoracarbon.com.

[1] https://www.gatesnotes.com/Energy/Moving-around-in-a-zero-ca...

[2] https://apnews.com/article/04029bd1e0a94cd59ff9540a398c12d1

[3] https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

[4] https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/1515...

[5] https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2015/03/17/power-one-tree-ve...

This is an interesting idea - great to see people trying out new innovative ideas. I would have a couple questions: 1. How much energy is required to extract and regenerated the adsorbent? 2. How much energy to store CO2 and how much space on-site? (First two questions are trying to discern if it is truly a net negative product or if the remainder of the process diminish the carbon balance significantly) 3. How much are you anticipating selling CO2 and what is the level of purity (we use it for one of input gases at our company)? 4. What is the reload time for the trucks CO2 wise - and how much of an operational hurdle is the implementation/execution? Truck fleets are notorious for not wanting to change their systems, especially for new untested tech. (It is a thin margin business - risk tolerance is low) 5. Unfortunately you can't claim CO2 credits unless you sequester the CO2 - however selling to cement or other industrials you can lower their carbon abatement costs! Therefore for pricing you would price above typically CO2, but low enough that you are saving them abatement costs.

1. The regeneration process actually requires very little energy because we're able to use waste heat from the truck's exhaust to power the process.

2. The tank requires 8 ft x 8 ft (on a 16 ft x 16 ft pad). The pump and refrigeration unit are small and are mostly off, so they don't use a lot of energy. Our early partners are also powering them using renewable energy, to further help our lifecycle emissions reduction.

3. Our understanding is that the price of CO2 varies geographically, so it will depend on where in the country we're capturing CO2. We're still testing the exact purity of our CO2, but it's definitely > 95% and we believe we can get it to > 99%. What purity does your company use?

4. It only takes trucks a few minutes to offload the CO2. They don't have to unload or reload anything - they just have to attach a hose and the device pumps the CO2 into the offload tank. We want to make this as easy as possible for drivers. Our first partners are actually very large companies that own private fleets of semi trucks and have aggressive climate commitments, so they have a little bit more wiggle room to test new technology!

5. That's exactly our plan. In the short term, we'll be earning revenue by selling to the concrete producers or other industrials. In the medium term, we'll be mainly be earning revenue by permanently sequestering our CO2 deep underground.

Let me know if I missed anything!

Sounds like you have a good roadmap. That offtaker piece is a tricky one and the long term storage piece is policy dependent. Hopefully other CO2 markets materialize.

Our process is 99% purity.

I presume you're using a heat exchanger to cool the exhaust and heat the discharging pellets. How big a temperature differential are you getting from the exchanger? How much extra energy do you need to put in for cooling? At switchover, how do you cool the pellets that you've just finished heating? Is the heating-compression cycle a lot faster than the collection cycle?

Given the overhead and hassle of putting small units on a huge number of trucks, how does this compare to just putting a small number of larger units on power plants or furnaces?

--How important is the CO2 concentration in the exhaust? Is this something that could be done just from atmospheric CO2, not on a concentrated source?--[Edit: Already addressed below.]

this is a very detailed and thoughtful question!

We have 2 or more chambers, we are balancing the number of chambers so that a chamber is always adsorbing while the other one (or 2) is transitioning temperature or holding a hot cycle to regenerate.

We adsorb at ambient temperature so cooling the previously heated device is not too much energy, mostly just a fan, but there is some available cool refrigerant from our dehumidifier/heat pump cycle that removes moisture from the exhaust to help quickly drop the chamber temperature.

We can use the exhaust waste heat to start heating the bed that is going into the hot regen cycle, then we use the waste heat from our exhaust dehumidifier to get the bed the rest of the way to the target hot cycle temperature.

Its hard to explain in text, but you can see that we get to use the hot and cold cycles from the refrigerant cycle to do work for us simultaneously and take advantage of the heat in the exhaust itself!

Thanks, that's quite clear.

What about the tradeoff vs. large stationary units on power plants? I know other folks are working on that as well; would love to know about how the economics work out vs. truck-sized units.

The great thing about truck-sized units is that they can be modular, so we can easily mass produce them. The challenge with stationary units for power plants is that each one has to be custom-designed from the ground up. Plus, you have to put in tons of capital up front for a power plant, whereas our units are very cheap to make. That's why we think mobile carbon capture is the more scalable approach.

It seems like integration with small generators could happen later, though? Perhaps concrete producers or other consumers of CO2 would buy them, and use or sell the electricity.

integration with generators at the CO2 consumers site, cut out the shipping costs, that's an interesting thought experiment!

That makes a lot of sense.

The site says you're funded, in part, by LowerCarbon Capital [1]

This is right in my interests -- investing directly in companies trying to combat climate change. Does anyone know much about them? I'm considering dropping them a line and seeing if I can invest in the fund as well.

1. https://lowercarboncapital.com/

Look up lowercase capital and Chris Sacca. You will find plenty of information about them. Mostly positive, but not all positive.

If you're interested in seeing who has built a track record investing in companies trying to combat climate change, https://climate50.com has done a good job researching and ranking.

Lowercarbon Capital is amazing! You should definitely drop them a line.

Neat! It's interesting how starting with small-scale applications can work better than the theoretically more-efficient stationary applications, because you can iterate and mass-produce.

How much of a problem are things in the exhaust like sulfur and particulates? Do they end up poisoning or clogging the adsorber after some time, or does regeneration burn them off? Could you remove some of the particulates from the exhaust to save our lungs too?

Our adsorbent actually captures the CO, NOx, and SOx in vehicle exhaust, so we'll be taking those out of the air in addition to CO2! Any particulate matter that makes it through the diesel particulate filter will cake onto our adsorbent, which we believe actually makes it more effective, so we'll be taking that out of circulation as well.

Are those impurities an issue when reselling the CO2?

They aren't - concrete producers, chemical producers, and many other end users actually only need CO2 that's > 90% pure, a bar that we'll very easily clear.

What would the incentive be for the truck owner to install the device?

How much weight will this add to the vehicle?

How big is the device?

How often does the truck driver have to 'empty' the device?

How are you planning to set up a distribution network to get the captured carbon from the truck to the concrete producers?

edit: typo

We're starting with large companies that own their own fleets and have made aggressive climate commitments. We share the revenue from the carbon dioxide with them, so they have two incentives to install these devices: meet their climate commitments and generate a new stream of revenue from the CO2.

The device currently weighs 3,200 pounds without carbon dioxide and 5,000 pounds loaded with carbon dioxide, and it'll get a lot lighter over time. We believe our device will qualify as “idle reduction technology” under federal law, and as “near-zero emission” under California law, meaning a truck with our device can weigh up to 80,550 pounds anywhere in the United States, and 82,000 pounds in California (above the usual 80,000 lbs). So the hit to payload capacity will be less than the weight of the device.

The device is 0.30 meters x 2.27 meters x 3.14 meters. It covers the back of a semi truck.

The driver currently has to offload the CO2 every 600 miles, and we'll be significantly improving range over time.

For our early partners, we'll install a CO2 tank at a distribution center or another facility of their choosing. We'll install our devices on trucks that do round trips to and from the facility so that they can offload the captured CO2 at the end of the day. Then, we'll transport the CO2 from the facility to a nearby concrete producer in a tanker truck (equipped with our device). As we grow, we will install CO2 tanks at truck stops along our partners' highest-density routes. Our network will grow organically as we begin to work with more and more companies.

Unless you have local clients at every offload station, you find yourself in the position to burn more diesel to ship the liqufied carbon to consumers of it - is locking down routes/offload site/consumers all in the same 30 mile radiuses part of the rollout?

Absolutely. One of our first pilot offloading stations is actually about 6 miles from a concrete producer. The other piece is that we'll add our technology to the tanker trucks that are transporting the CO2. It'll take us a few more years to get close to 100% capture, so between now and then, we won't be able to fully mitigate those extra emissions, which is why initially we're working with end users that are very close to our offload stations.

Who consumes it, anyhow? What is it useful for? Can it simply be stored somewhere in mostly inert form? Can we pour it into a cave or a fracking hole or something and just let it be? Or does it turn back into a gas and escape?

Injected CO2 is also highly effective at sweeping stored oil and gas out of the reservoir to (ironically) help you produce more oil and gas. My company uses CO2 extensively in its older fields in the Permian Basin.

there are lots of uses for concentrated CO2. A few current uses include dry ice (shipping vaccines or other medical supplies), green houses, concrete, beverage carbonization, pumping it under ground into depleted oil wells for permanent storage, and refrigeration cycles.

There are also a lot of technologies in progress to use CO2, such as turning it right back into synthetic fuels!

The list goes on and seems to be growing by the day.

Woah, based out of Detroit! Booya! I might need to come say hi and see what y'all are up to. I really dig this concept.

We'd love to have you come by our shop any time - just shoot us an email at hello@remoracarbon.com!

How does keeping the weight on the vehicle affect is km/l ratio?

Edit: full this device is only 6% of the max (80000lb) weight, maybe 15% weight on just the tractor.

Exactly. We still need to do more dyno testing to get an exact figure, but we think the impact to fuel efficiency will be < 3%. We'll capture those extra carbon emissions, and we'll more than pay for the extra fuel cost by sharing the revenue from selling the carbon dioxide.

> but we think the impact to fuel efficiency will be < 3%. We'll capture those extra carbon emissions,

The more inefficient you make the trucks, the more carbon you'll capture!

Clearly you see the business plan!

This is super cool and I hope the founders are successful.

> Adding our device to one truck is equivalent to planting 6,200 trees. (remoracarbon.com)

How is this physically possible? A mature tree might easily have 200kg of carbon stored in its wood. How can this tailpipe infrastructure store 1,240,000kg of carbon per tailpipe? At first glance it's an incredible claim, so a bit more explanation would be great.

I think they're basing that calculation on this post (https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2015/03/17/power-one-tree-ve...), which points here (https://www.arborday.org/trees/treefacts/#climate), which links to the European Environmental Agency saying an average mature tree sequesters 22kg of carbon every year (https://www.eea.europa.eu/articles/forests-health-and-climat...).

So, one tree is 22kg/year. So they're claiming their device will collect 6200*22=136,400kg of carbon per year from a truck.

This is exactly right. For an average semi truck (6 mpg, 100,000 miles/year), if we capture 80% of its carbon emissions, we'll be capturing ~ 135 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is roughly the same as 6,200 trees * 22 kg/year.

If a truck produces 1kg for every mile driven then 1.2 million miles would need to be driven over the truck's lifetime. It's a lot but certainly possible (some older trucks have driven over 5 million miles)

> Long term, if we pair our technology with biofuels, we can make a truck carbon negative.

Carbon negative, you say? Easy solution to climate change then: Let's just put millions of your trucks on the roads and have them drive around all the time. /s

That's what carbon sequestration is? The proposed pipeline is: C02-in-the-air => biofuel crop => biofuel => carbon capture => sequestration in concrete, etc.

This is just a clever way to get trucks and farms to do the work with the infrastructure we have (mostly) in place, rather than a radical reimagining of our energy infrastructure.

Not that I've seen proof this process would work, but I think that's the proposal.

Biofuel is not a good source of energy. It uses a lot of land.

It just doesn't make sense to emit all the CO2 to then recapture and sell it to someone. First, it's awefully inefficient, and second, do you think there's an infinite amount of demand for CO2 at a high enough price that it makes sense to jump through all these hoops?

Unfortunately, the best solution for climate change is the least sexy, and therefore techies, VCs and the media don't jump on it. 1) Reduce emissions by "boring" things like solar power and less livestock agriculture, 2) increase the existing CO2 sinks that already exist in nature (forests and coastal areas).

some great points! We agree why let the CO2 out into the atmosphere and then try to grab it, lets grab it right at the source.

Biofuels like corn to ethanol might take too much land area, but the potential to get biofuels from algae or poop (yes poop is a great biofuel) require no additional land area and are very efficient. A biofuel research study at U of Michigan showed a biofuel process that produces -1 g/ gallon burned GHG emission effect. We don't pretend to know exactly how to scale up biofuels but luckily there is a lot of research in progress on this!

The other thing we could potentially do is convert the CO2 directly back into a fuel, so the offload and fueling station is completely done at the same truck stop!

Lastly we also agree that our technology does not allow society to exist exactly as it is now, we will always support reducing energy consumption where possible and better land use to let nature sink tons of CO2.

Well, livestock agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, so taking their poop also doesn't make sense since we need to do away with livestock completely.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's good that people are working on CO2 sequestration, but I just get triggered if I read something like "carbon negative trucks" which just is 101 greenwashing and gaslighting.

I encourage you to check out the draw down project ( https://drawdown.org/solutions/table-of-solutions ), sort the list from largest impact and you will see " Managed Grazing" has the potential to have a 27% to 40% larger CO2 reduction than electric cars (scenario 1 - scenario 2 percentages). So keep the cattle just update the farming practices, ditch the electric car? Haha obviously not, we need a multi prong solution.

I'm pretty interest how carbon negative is greenwashing when there could actually be less carbon in the atmosphere, will be verified with a life cycle analysis, especially since we can fit on a truck that already exists so the truck manufacturing CO2 is already something that's been spent.

My trigger is when things are called zero emissions, because no electric car, solar panel, or windmill are zero emissions.

I agree that we need a plethora of solutions, there's not one silver bullet. Project Drawdown is great, but a little too cuddly for my taste. We're at a point where we need more aggressive solutions.

Managed grazing has some good points, but it's mixed with a lot of pseudoscience and cult also. In the end, we need to get rid of almost all livestock agriculture if we are serious about tackling climate change.

> I'm pretty interest how carbon negative is greenwashing when there could actually be less carbon in the atmosphere, will be verified with a life cycle analysis, especially since we can fit on a truck that already exists so the truck manufacturing CO2 is already something that's been spent.

It's just a bit out there. There are better and more efficient ways to reduce GHG emissions than what you're proposing. Again, it's good that people are working on new tech to sequestrate CO2, but let's talk again about selling this "carbon negative" vision once we get CO2 sequestration working on a large scale at a low enough cost.

Until then, I sincerely wish you all the best! We're all in this together :-)

Yes, that's exactly the proposal!

We've definitely got a lot of work to do to prove that this solution can truly be carbon negative (we're actually partnering with the University of Michigan to test this over the next couple months), but many scientists agree that "bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration" is one of the most promising forms of carbon removal. With biofuels, we could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for an order of magnitude less than direct air capture.

I mean, if it actually works, it would be turning plants into concrete, locking up their carbon. That would indeed be carbon negative. Probably a very inefficient way of doing so, if your only goal was turning plants into stored carbon, but if you're also getting zero-carbon shipping then it sounds pretty good.

Growing plants/trees and then storing them underground _is_ carbon negative.

Nah, some asshole will come by in a million years or so and frack them to get fuel again ;)

Refining biofuel or renewable fuel involves GHG emissions.

very true, but that's what a life cycle analysis is used for. Take all the emissions from manufacturing, use, and end of life. For this reason there are no zero emissions technologies (solar panels, electric car, cloth bags, even human waste produces significant GHG emissions).

We will support independent sustainability research on our solution's life cycle analysis to verify if we can be carbon negative, and if not what changes can we make to get there.

I don't really have an interesting question for you, but I just want to say this is a fantastic idea and I wish you all the best! It is wonderful to see innovation like this in carbon sequestration.

Thanks so much! We appreciate all the words of encouragement

I'll be blunt. This sounds very fishy to me. Diesel creates about 2.6kg of CO2 per litre burned. So for a typical 500 litre tank of a Semi truck, you'll create 1.3tons of carbon. How exactly do you plan on storing that? How do you release it from its storage? When you store it under pressure, the release of the gas will create problems due to freezing. Not to mention the problems and energy requirements of pressurising 1t of carbon.

I appreciate the fish pun! This is why we're currently offloading the CO2 every 600 miles. Luckily, offloading only takes a couple mins, and drivers are legally mandated to stop every 8 hours (< 600 miles of driving), so they can just offload while they stop, or at the end of the day. 600 miles worth of driving creates about 1,800 lbs of CO2, which is very doable to store onboard a truck.

To offload, the driver attaches a hose, which connects to an offloading tank, and the CO2 is pumped from the tank inside our device to the much larger offloading tank. We liquefy the CO2 as it comes off the truck for storage in the tank. Luckily, the pump doesn't use much energy, and our early partners are using renewable energy to power the pump! We plan to continue using

Is this likely to go on container ships and help them become more eco friendly?

potentially yes that could be a market we expand to. We want to capture all the engine exhaust CO2 we can! So maybe trains as well.

There are different exhaust compositions for the engines on these different vehicles, in part because they use slightly different fuels. So there will be some research and work to do before jumping into the next market, but we love developing technology that has never existed before, we are so excited!!

Does the weight of the CO2 negatively impact the fuel efficiency of the truck in any appreciable way?

We think the impact to fuel efficiency will be < 3%, but we'll be doing more testing over the next couple months to get an exact figure. We'll capture those extra carbon emissions, and we'll more than pay for the extra fuel cost by sharing the revenue from selling the carbon dioxide.

18 wheelers get about 5 to 6 mpg, with a us gallon being 3.785 liters (corrected) . Each mile thus is 0.63 or more liters of diesel.

A truck can do at least 100k to 120k miles per year.

So 63k to ~76k liters per year per truck. 63k * 2.6kg equals about 163.6 metric tons per year on the low end.

It's 3.785 litres per US gallon.

Corrected, thank you!

Down thread it's explained that the device weighs 1000+ lbs more when full, after 600 miles.

600 miles isn't the full tank of combustion. Sound like driver is swapping tanks or something at one of their stops.

That makes for about 470 k per km captured, and they're not claiming 100% efficiency. So it passes that sniff test, at least. Weight is also plausible.

Final q (other than cost): how much exhaust backpressure?

This is a crucial question! To our surprise, our beta testing of our prototype has actually shown that this is creating < 0.5 psi back pressure on the engine (negligible) and we believe we can get it down to essentially 0 by the time we deliver our first units to customers this summer.

Are you saying 1 litre (about 0.71 kg) of fuel creates 2.6 kg of CO2? :-)

You're taking a bunch of `C` in the tank (AMU: 12) and 2x `O` out of the atmosphere (AMU: 16). This means the expected mass goes from 12 -> 44, or an increase of 3.6. My trusty calculator says that takes .71kg to 2.6kg.

This is just approximate, since fuel has a bunch of H and S and other crap, so it's not 100% C. But, yes, these figures are in the right ballpark.

You are correct of course. I was intending to make an alchemy joke about a particular phrasing of the parent poster (the part about creating 1 tons of "carbon"), but misread the entire message and commented on the wrong part. :-/

Now the jokes' on me.

Ah, my bad, yes obviously it creates ~1ton of CO2, not Carbon. :)

It certainly does. The O2 comes from the air and is heavier than carbon. The carbon comes from the fuel, which is its main content by weight.

1 kg of carbon from fuel + 1.75 kg of O2 from aith = 2.75 kg of CO2.

Meanwhile the hydrogen in a hydrocarbon is somewhere in the range of 1/7th of the weight, so the fact that it all goes up the exhaust pipe in the form of water doesn't really subtract all that much weight from the input.

There's more energy in the hydrogen bonds, not the carbon-carbon bonds, right? Just adds insult to injury, if you ask me.

When you mix each 1 kg of fuel with around 3 kg of O2 during combustion, why do you think that outcome is impossible?

On the surface, it seems like you're only burning fuel in an engine. People forget, or may not even know that you're burning mostly air, and the fuel is there to help burn the air. I think this was a legit question to ask, as it's going to be a common misunderstanding for a lot of people.

I think some of the replies are missing your little s/carbon/CO2 sleight of hand there :)

This is very interesting taking the carbon at the source of one of the most polluting transport industries. Which immediately made me think of one of the most powerful facts I know. That the largest 15 cargo ships in the world produce more pollution than all the cars in the world.

This leads me to ask a question: could this technology be scaled up to work on ships, specifically cargo ships? As removing their carbon output at the source would be highly beneficial to the planet.

CO2 is not that kind of pollutant. The whole shipping industry is about 3% of global emissions. A gas lawnmower produces more pollution than an SUV but not more CO2.

Absolutely — this technology would work very well for cargo ships, and after we make it work for semi trucks, we plan definitely to scale up to help decarbonize other hard-to-electrify forms of long-haul transport like locomotives and cargo ships.

If it sounds too powerful to be true, then it's probably false. That powerful fact is not true for CO2, it'd be physically impossible. It's only true for Sulphur and Nitrogen dioxide poisoning.

Did you decide to pursue carbon capture first and then start the company? I’m wondering if/how on-vehicle carbon capture is more energy efficient than e.g. using free air carbon capture to manufacture fuel? Though I suppose they could be combined.


The atmosphere is only 0.04% CO2, whereas vehicle exhaust is about 13% CO2, so it's much easier (and less energy-intensive) to capture CO2 from a tailpipe. We definitely want to partner with folks working to turn CO2 into fuel — we'd love to turn our CO2 into fuel at truck stops so we can put it right back into the trucks.

Foretry is probably the best way of capturing carbon straight out of the air.

"[...] Need somewhere around 50 acres' worth of trees, planted in tropical areas, to absorb the typical emissions produced by an average American in her lifetime. Multiply that by the population of the U.S. and you get 25 million square miles, roughly half the landmass of the world." -- How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates

Where do you get the figure on your home page "less than 5% of the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles are recycled"?

Edit: Reading that back standalone, I think it doesn't mean what it sounds like it means in context. I think you are saying less than 5% of the batteries going in to new cars are recycled, not less than 5% of the batteries coming out of old cars are recycled.

The latter is the valid comparison for your "Our materials are recyclable", and I suspect it's not the case. The car industry is very good at recycling in general, and the main reason more electric car batteries aren't being recycled is that they haven't reached end of life yet - they are often lasting longer than expected.

Normal car breakers are able to recover more than 90% of the materials that went in to making the original cars. Electric car batteries should be able to easily achieve those sorts of numbers.

actually the research on why electric car batteries are not being recycled is because every car is too proprietary and it costs too much infrastructure to change for each battery manufacturer. Lithium has a lot of value so recyclers want to get into battery recycling but have made it known they need standardized battery design/packaging standards to make that possible.

saying we need produce more waste to recycle car batteries is like saying we need more CO2 emissions to actually cause more climate change so no can pretend it does not exist.

lithium AA batteries are recycled, a 2000 lb battery is significantly more payoff.

This is a very interesting idea.

What is the performance impact on the engine?

You said in another reply that it will also capture CO, NOx, and SOx. Will this replace any existing emissions equipment such as urea injection?

The device does not affect the aerodynamics of the truck or the power of the truck. It creates essentially no back pressure on the engine. In our beta testing, our device currently increases back pressure < 0.5 psi, which is nearly negligible. We’re confident that we’ll get this down to essentially 0 psi as we continue to test and improve the technology ahead of our initial pilots.

Our solution is complimentary with solutions like urea injection and diesel exhaust fluid!

After a recent discussion with our home heating oil provider, seeing this post got me thinking - could a similar system be applied to the exhaust of a household furnace that is burning No. 2 heating oil?

A typical household in my part of the country runs around 1000 gallons of oil per year (which I realize is less than 10% of a typical long-haul truck annual usage) but for larger sites like greenhouses/breweries/etc that have both heating and CO2 needs, I could see there being significant gains to having an on-site capture system.

Even at the household side, it would be great to capture this tailpipe waste as a marketable resource... with the benefits of grid power and less concern over the size of storage/compression/regen equipment, I could imagine that the break-even point might be favorable.

I think the concern with capturing CO2 on this small scale is the network required to go pick it up. Still an interesting thought experiment and maybe that'll be a future market.

Hopefully we can convert home heating systems like yours to a biofuel soon to reduce the CO2 impact quickly.

Thanks for the idea!

If you’re in the continental US or southern Canada, switching to heating mostly with modern low temperature inverter heat pumps would probably be a big win both economically and environmentally over heating with heating oil.

What’s the market size for concrete hardened with CO2?

From what I’ve read this is a technique to lower the cost of concrete, so the added value would be capped at roughly whatever the price of concrete without CO2 is. There’s also the possible substitute of CO2 derived from other sources with a lower recovery cost, such as sequestration at a plant as you mentioned. How much can be charged for captured CO2 and what’s the market price?

The big difference between plant sequestered CO2 seems to be the need to sweep up and store the CO2 which will be stored across the country. How will the infrastructure for offloading into the tank and delivering the captured CO2 work? How many tanks and how many trucks for moving the liquified CO2?

the market for CO2 as a raw commodity is pretty large and growing significantly!

I think your comment on the concrete capped price assumes that the price for producing CO2 does not increase. If current concrete produces CO2 (which it does produce a lot) and CO2 gets taxed, it makes concrete that sequesters CO2 very financially viable even if it cost more than the current concrete market price. Plus I know I would pay more for concrete that sequesters CO2 so maybe that's another competitive advantage that allows it to cost slightly more.

Plants are great and we love and support using our lands more effectively, but there is not enough land to store the CO2 that has been emitted over the last century from fossil fuels, and keep up with the increasing energy demand from population growth as well as developing nations. So plants cannot do this on their own.

There is such a large market for CO2 (and its growing!) that we can find users of the CO2 very near our storage tanks. For example one pilot program we are planning right now has a CO2 concrete producer only 6 miles away! Of course our CO2 hauling trucks will have our device and we will get better and better at leveraging existing infrastructure (pipe lines and trains) to transport CO2 efficiently.

I say put this to work for fizzy drinks. Haul carbon dioxide to fizzy drink company, then pick up fizzy drinks. Profit.

Do drivers need a hazardous materials endorsement to drive a truck with your equipment attached?

they do not. At least so far we have not had a regulatory hurdle that requires hazmat. Mostly because the CO2 is not flammable nor toxic (unless in a confined space, but hard to imagine a semi truck being in a confined space while our device is storing CO2).

Are you accepting small time investors? I’m very interested in putting $10,000 towards this

Thanks so much! Want to shoot me an email at hello@remoracarbon.com?

> He saw first hand that these trucks have far less payload capacity and range, plus the batteries lose > 40% of their range in cold weather [2].

Why not use a auxiliary battery heating system that uses some kind of fuel (i.e. biofuel) for this scenario? The amount of fuel needed to heat a battery to its optimal operating temperature during cold weather is probably orders of magnitude less than the amount of fuel needed to propel a truck, so the carbon emissions would be minimal. The same system could also be used for driver cabin heat.

An aux heating system would not be necessary for an EV semi: most of the cited 40% of range lost suffered by passenger EVs is due to cabin heating, but an EV semi would actually produce enough waste heat in its powertrain to comfortably heat the cabin[1] (just like a diesel semi!).

There are also some range and power losses due to increased internal cell resistance when the battery is cold, but the effects of this diminish as the battery warms up with use. Actual range loss for an EV semi in the cold should be minor, probably similar to the range loss for ICE semis in the winter.


In the long run I expect the solution will be electrification of highways so that trucks can recharge while they're moving, and the batteries are only used over short distances on local roads picking things up and dropping them off, or to fill in gaps between electrified road sections. Then range won't be a significant issue anymore.

That would be a pretty major infrastructure project, though.

actually adding 15,000 lb of battery to the truck reduces its efficiency significantly. Imagine loosing 15k of payload when you only had 60k to begin with, your new payload of 45k means you have to drive the route 4 times compared to 3 times for a diesel truck with our device.

Hopefully that makes sense.

A 600 mile battery - say 1-1.2MWh - should only weigh around 10-12K lbs (at 260-300 wh/kg). And you can throw out the 5K lb carbon capture device, and 5K lbs of engine, transmission, exhaust, cooling and fuel system. Add back 500 lbs of electric motors. The payload difference is actually not that significant, certainly not 33% more payload for the diesel+CCS. Such a big battery would be expensive though. I expect most EV semis will have 300 - 500 miles of range. This system sounds good for decarbonizing the diesels that are already on the road though!

you can throw away the 5k of engine and drivetrain components, and then throw in 6k in electric motors, transaxles/transmissions and added copper wiring

From the vehicles I have actually built and weighed there is a much larger increase in weight than you are predicting.

Tesla model 3 curb weight 3897 lb and 200 mile highway range. https://www.caranddriver.com/tesla/model-3

Toyota camry curb weight 3340 and 616 mile highway range. https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/camry/specs

You can see that 1/3 the range for the same weight, and this only gets worse as the vehicle gets heavier. For class 8 trucks wind drag is a very small percentage of the losses, rolling resistance from weight is the largest loses. So I don't think linear distance scaling you assume adds up.

Its going to be an interesting transition and we know that electric trucks will be great for some use cases but its going to take a mix of solutions, especially in countries where their grid infrastructure is no where near as robust as ours.

You've compared the range of a Model 3 driven at 75MPH to a Camry driven at 48MPH, for one thing. But I don't know why you would bring passenger cars into the discussion, since you can't scale performance linearly from cars to class 8 trucks. You've already made that mistake by scaling cabin heating requirements linearly with battery capacity, for example.

> For class 8 trucks wind drag is a very small percentage of the losses, rolling resistance from weight is the largest loses.

According to this source[1], for class 8 trucks at max gross weight on level road, aero and rolling resistance losses are the same around 50MPH, and aero dominates after that. Is that source wrong, or out of date? Source says "aerodynamic drag and tire rolling resistance are major contributors to energy loss" - neither is a "very small percentage".

From everything I've read publicly, EV semis won't have transmissions or transaxles, just motors on the drive shafts (4x120lbs). Not sure where you get 6k lbs, even including the "added copper wiring".

I can totally see a 1-2 ton payload advantage for diesel+CCS over EV semis when the required range is 500+ miles, just not a 15k lbs advantage. Ultimately the market will decide what tech to use for different routes though, and I agree that a variety of solutions will be utilized.

[1] https://www.nap.edu/read/13288/chapter/7#79

I thought that making concrete releases a lot of CO2, at least while making cement. Why do concrete producers want to buy CO2?

There's a new technology that allows concrete producers to inject carbon dioxide into concrete. Two of the leading companies in this space are CarbonCure and Solidia.

There’s a whole economy around buying and selling carbon footprints. If you run a factory that does nothing but release CO2 into the atmosphere, you can legally be “carbon neutral” as long as you give enough money to green companies who do the work of offsetting your impact for you.

How big is the storage tank, in terms of volume? To me the one in the video looks too small. I would expect that co2 needs more space than the fuel (since oxygen is added). So a truck needs roughly 100 gallons of fuel for the distance you claim. I would be actually surprised if you can fit the co2 from that into a 400 gallon container (but chemistry is not my strong suit). Any comments?

Edit: I looked up some numbers. 1 gallon produces 9kg of co2, so 80% capture is around 7kg. Co2 has a density of 2g/l at 1 bar (0C). So at modest 200bar you have 0,4kg, so 1 gallon needs 7/0,4=17,5 litre, so 100 gallon 1750 litre=460gallons, and of course a 200 bar compressor.

Does that sound right to you?

The tank in the video is just a component of the device overall. The device is 2 cubic meters total, including the storage tank. We'll be storing 600 miles worth of CO2 at a time, or roughly 1800 pounds of CO2.

You are onto something! The video is a proof of concept, so it has the components and performs the adsorption and such but could not capture or store enough for a 600 mi drive cycle.

We are compressing the CO2 significantly, and currently working with tank manufactures to find the right balance between pressure, volume, and weight of the tank (goal is to store ~1800 lb of CO2).

If you want to do math like this for a living we are hiring! :)

In your test you say captures "at least 80% of its carbon emission"; in the video it is "70 to 80% in ideal conditions"...

So, in the end, how much is captured on average ?

And once it is captured, in which conditions does it stay captured ? for how long ?

The timeline between the video and now shows the progress we have made on average capture rates. The text is correct for where we are now. And we only use permanent storage options for our captured CO2.

Cool, then it starts to look really promising. Thanks for your answer.

> Our device captures the carbon emissions from a semi truck. We sell the captured carbon dioxide to concrete producers

> Adding our device to one truck is equivalent to planting 6,200 trees.

Honest question here, I'm not a chemistry expert here but could you please explain how you selling it to concrete producers and also remain carbon negative? What do the concrete producers do with the carbon dioxide? If they need carbon dioxide input why couldn't get from e.g. capturing their own carbon dioxide (I thought concrete construction was one of the bigger CO2 emitters ...)

Many concrete producers are using technology invented by CarbonCure and Solidia to inject CO2 into concrete, which makes it stronger. It's one of the most permanent forms of sequestration, so it takes the CO2 out of circulation forever. Right now, these concrete plants don't have the capability to capture their own CO2, which would be a very elegant solution. In the medium term, as that gets built out, we're going to be switching to permanently sequestering our CO2 in depleted oil wells and saline aquifers, rather than selling it to concrete producers. And in the long term, we hope to turn it back into fuel right at the truck stop. So selling to concrete producers is only the first step of our roadmap for CO2 sequestration!

Thanks for the explanation!

Follow up -- Considering that at some point we'll reach saturation in the amount of buildings we need, and the world population will necessarily stabilize itself due to resource limits, are there other ways to take CO2 out of circulation besides concrete that don't come with the additional emissions of concrete?

For example I believe plants make sugars using CO2 and water? Can we make a ton of sugar (or other environmentally safe molecules) artificially using CO2 and bury it in the desert? (Sorry for my naivity, I'm not a chemist!)

Absolutely. The main answer is going to be permanent geologic storage in depleted oil wells or saline aquifers, which is widely agreed to be one of the most scalable form of carbon sequestration. We're also hoping to turn the CO2 back into fuel right at the truck stop, so we can put it right back into the trucks!

This is really cool! Curious if you've heard of or been put in touch with Prometheus Fuels - another YC company that's working on synthetic gasoline/diesel production using direct air capture (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19842240). Seems like it could be a good combination - offload the stored CO2 from trucks at fuel stations, and put it into a fuel synthesizer that would likely work more efficiently with CO2, rather than raw air, as an input.

Thanks for the suggestion, we agree a pretty cool partnership!

Imagine one stop where you offload and refueling with synthetic fuel made from your previous exhaust. Pretty neat idea.

How do people use the CO2 captured?

Are there economical opportunities from the captured CO2?

CO2 is used in concrete, greenhouses, refrigeration, dry ice, chemicals, fertilizer, carbonating sodas, etc. - there's actually 230 million tons of demand for CO2 every year! So plenty of opportunities for us to sell the CO2 we're capturing.

From the page:

> We sell the carbon dioxide to concrete producers and other end users, and we split that revenue with our customers.

One of the biggest end-user of CO2 is the fossil fuel industry, blowing CO2 into well to extract more fossil fuel .... Will OP make sure their product is not used to extract more fossil fuels?

What's the problem with producing oil and gas with the CO2?

When the CO2 gets left behind in a reservoir, it's still a net positive for the environment. There are even oil companies aiming to produce 'carbon-neutral oil' [0].

[0] https://www.oxylowcarbon.com/carbon-capture-technology/proje...

Yes absolutely. We're not going to use our CO2 to extract more fossil fuels - we're only going to work with end users (like concrete producers) that permanently sequester it.

Ultra stupid-naive question : why could you not store the extracted CO2 in the same tank as fuel ? Or maybe CO2 tank volume is just not a problem.

Would have to refit those existing tanks and make them pressure ready, extra plumbing problems too. Current device sound like a simple bolt-on.

Exactly. We want this to be as simple as possible for folks to add to their existing trucks, so it's easiest for us to store the captured CO2 inside our device on the back of the cab.

In addition to the sibling answer, CO2 is both a gas at any sensible pressure for a diesel tank, and has more molecules (and mass) than the constituent fuel.

This adds up to more volume than the original diesel— a lot more. There's no actual efficiency to be gained here, especially since trucks are more constrained by mass than by volume.

> Adding our device to one truck is equivalent to planting 6,200 trees.

I'd love to hear about the stats + science that go into that claim expanded upon.

Copying my comment from elsewhere in the thread:

I think they're basing that calculation on this post (https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2015/03/17/power-one-tree-ve...), which points here (https://www.arborday.org/trees/treefacts/#climate), which links to the European Environmental Agency saying an average mature tree sequesters 22kg of carbon every year (https://www.eea.europa.eu/articles/forests-health-and-climat...).

So, one tree is 22kg/year. So they're claiming their device will collect 6200*22=136,400kg of carbon per year from a truck.


This is great. I’m curious if this approach would work for residential fireplace chimneys, as well. Is that something you’ve explored?

We haven't explored that, but carbon capture technology would work for residential chimneys. The challenge would be figuring out how to pick up the captured CO2 from so many different locations. One of the reason we're initially targeting trucks is that they drive on extremely concentrated freight corridors, so we'll mainly have to collect CO2 from truck stops along a set of key routes.

Might be worth adapting this for restaurants with coal/gas fired ovens. They would more consistent producers of CO2 - not only during winter months. You could lease the capture devices to restaurants and take a larger portion of the co2 revenue. The co2 capture might have marketing appeal to differentiate a restaurant from competitors, too.

Maybe a chain like Blaze Pizza

This is a great thought — I have a similar response around the challenges with picking up the captured CO2 from such a decentralized network of capturing devices, but definitely something we'll explore down the line.

Maybe only in locations near enough a place to sell the carbon. I have no ideas what the value of the carbon is, but at some point hopefully it's worth concrete producers driving to pump and take it away.

Makes sense, thanks! It would probably have to become part of the municipal garbage collection service.

Totally. Definitely could be cool to explore down the line.

Interesting. How does it interact with the standard DEF/SCR/DPF system, or does it replace it entirely?

We add our device downstream of the DPF, so it's entirely complementary.

Ah, I was hoping it would replace it, so the drivers don't have to stop and burn clean when they do too many short runs.

ICEs are dead technologies that will not survive beyond 2035. It's better to kill off the dinosaurs sooner than push "clean coal."

Planting trees doesn't sequester carbon permanently or at scale to matter. It's totally woeful, wishful thinking as proven by Thunderf00t.

"He saw first hand that these trucks have far less payload capacity and range, plus the batteries lose > 40% of their range in cold weather [2]."

I think you are referring to only electrical trucks; Hydrogen still carries on load and doesn't have the same operational cold weather challenges.

Exactly. The challenge with hydrogen that we've seen is that it's extremely flammable (even when mixed with a small amount of air) so it requires thousands of pounds of reinforcement to make it safe to carry on a truck, which dramatically cuts payload capacity. (Carbon dioxide, by contrast, is thankfully not at all flammable.) Then, of course, there are the challenges with producing carbon neutral green hydrogen, since currently 99% of the world's hydrogen is produced using natural gas or coal. Plus building out a hydrogen distribution and fueling infrastructure all over the world.

The challenge with Hydrogen is that it leaks quickly out of systems so they need to be very tight fitting. The combustion element isn't the huge challenge - in fact diesel and gasoline are more dangerous from an accident perspective if there is a tank leak because they remain on the scene setting up a flammability risk whereas hydrogen readily and incredibly quickly dissipates into the atmosphere.

For hydrogen to work in the trucking space you work on end-to-end systems, therefore negating the need to change the entire infrastructure. You target 80% of the trucking industry and leave the last might to more carbon intensive mechanisms.

I think the approach that best works for your company - and the one that I natively believe in: We need all of these technologies to change the future narrative and not fall into a situation where the new technologies are competing against each other.

If you can remove the technology risk/operation risk and start deploying these systems quickly - you have a very promising opportunity ahead of you. Don't waste time trying to compete against EV or Hydrogen. All of the above is the approach.

The challenges in of hydrogen make it less practical than batteries. Storage at 10,000psi, incredible upper and lower explosive limits, hydrogen embrittlement etc.

Have you ever met a truck mechanic who didn't perpetually smell of diesel? Do you want them working with explosive gasses instead?

Gas is as combustive as hydrogen - so not sure what you are referring to as a mechanic.

Hydrogen leaks much faster and dissipates quickly into the atmosphere (unlike gas/diesel) defusing the risk of combustion (flip side is much harder to contain and systems need to be tighter). However if it gets caught under pressure it has a risk to it.

Gasoline has an upper and lower explosive limit of 2% to 7%. What this means is by storing it in a moderately well sealed container it quickly becomes too rich to support combustion.

Hydrogen is 4% to 75%. This means almost any concentration of hydrogen and oxygen is flammable.

I should have responded to your original comment - hydrogen and batteries have very different potential range of applications and both of them have a place in the future of our energy systems.

To your flammability point - yes that is true - there are other advantages to Hydrogen being that it lighter than air and dissipates relatively quickly (diffusing the explosion risk) and that it is no toxic. Where as in the case of a car accident gasoline pools underneath the car and remains on site and a continued risk.

There are disadvantages to Hydrogen as well - the flammability has to be managed, its a pernicious molecule and causes embrittlement. All solvable through engineering.

Interesting idea! I wonder if it could be modified to create some kind of carbon-based fertilizer from the saturated bed, to be used with farm equipment (perhaps limestone in conjunction with calcium?). Then, the farm equipment could produce fertilizer for the farm to be used later!

In fact, I wonder if you can use calcium to capture the CO2 in the first place? When you're done, add it to the soil as fertilizer, and voila! You've buried your carbon AND helped plants grow better (capture more carbon)!

This is a super interesting idea. We hadn't thought of this application, but definitely one that we'll consider!

I associate Remora with the long running brand of made in USA sticky handgun holsters. Is there not a trademark conflict to use someone else's name? https://remoraholsterstore.com/

Trademarks are for a specific business. This isn’t remotely related.

This is such a minor thing compared to the actual tech you're building, for which you're rightly getting plenty of appreciation throughout this discussion.


I _love_ that you're founding a company with a name that makes immediate sense and is clever! That's hard and it made me smile.

Thanks so much! You might also enjoy that the legal name of our company is Echeneidae Inc. :)

I did, indeed, enjoy this— thank you for sharing! :)

When you sell the captured CO2 on, how is it being used? Do the concrete producers use it in their concrete somehow? How long does it stay there?

Carbon capture only works if we have viable long term solutions for the captured carbon dioxide - which isn't the easiest gas to get rid of.

Agreed. The concrete producers inject it into their concrete, which is widely thought to be one of the most permanent forms of CO2 storage in existence. We will only work with end users that are using the CO2 in a way that permanently takes it out of circulation. Medium term, this will probably mean that we sequester a lot of our captured CO2 in depleted oil wells or saline aquifers. Long term, we're actually hoping to turn the CO2 back into fuel right at the truck stop, so we can put it back into the trucks for a circular solution.

What's the percentage of CO2 captured, considering lifetime emissions from the whole process?

Right now, we're probably at around 60-70% lifetime reduction (we're doing a comprehensive lifecycle analysis during our first pilots this summer). Over time, as the capture rate of our device approaches 100%, we think we can get close to 100% CO2 capture (since we'll be capturing the emissions from the truck and from transporting the CO2 to an end user, the main source of emissions). The only other source of emissions is the energy used by the pump at the offload station, and our early partners are powering that with renewable energy.

Do investment opportunities exist within Remora? If so, where could I learn more about them?

Thanks so much for the interest! Feel free to email us at hello@remoracarbon.com.

I'm glad that people are pursuing end-of-pipe solutions as well. For a long time (at least by my understanding), they've been considered verboten by environmental groups, but I think there are all sorts of sensible uses cases.

Good luck to you!

Thanks so much!

Why would concrete producers buy carbon dioxide? It is a waste product of calcining limestone, no? Cement is not supposed to contain any carbonate at the end of the process.

Companies like CarbonCure and Solidia are doing new work on technology that allows concrete producers to inject CO2 into concrete, which makes the concrete stronger. It's really exciting technology, and they've already got plants operating around the country.

> plus the batteries lose > 40% of their range in cold weather [2]

The link you cited does not mention cold weather range loss for batteries. Can you provide a source for this claim?

Oops, citations [1] and [2] got mixed up. This is the correct link: https://apnews.com/article/04029bd1e0a94cd59ff9540a398c12d1

Thanks! From the corrected link:

> At 20 degrees, the average driving range fell by 12 percent when the car’s cabin heater was not used. When the heater was turned on, the range dropped by 41 percent, AAA said.

So the majority of the range loss in cold weather in passenger EVs was due to heating the cabin. Do you think an electric semi would also require 30% of its battery capacity be dedicated for cabin heating in cold weather?

To answer my own question:

Assuming 2KWh / mile average consumption[1], an EV semi powertrain would be pulling ~120KW continuously from the battery. Even at 90-95% efficiency, there will be 6-12KW of waste heat available in the powertrain, more than enough to heat the cabin in cold weather. Modern EVs actually do scavenge waste heat from the battery and motors for cabin heating[2], unlike the EVs tested in the cited article.

But even without using the available waste heat, a 6KW resistive cabin heater would only use 18KWh over a 3 hour drive. For a cheap passenger EV, this could be 20-40% of the battery, but for a semi with 500 miles of range, 18KWh would only be 1-3% of the battery.

Put more succinctly, the battery in an EV semi would be 5-10x larger than the battery in a passenger EV, but the energy required to heat the cabin will be roughly the same. So the effect of cabin heating on range loss would be 5-10x less on a EV semi than a passenger EV.

I would remove this line from your post: "plus the batteries lose > 40% of their range in cold weather" because I don't think that claim is supported by any source, or by basic logic and math, in the context of a semi truck.

[1] https://www.tesla.com/semi [2] https://jalopnik.com/the-tesla-model-ys-octovalve-and-coolin...

I hope you are right, because that's better for the environment. Independent testing of the Tesla Semi will prove or disprove all these claims. Regardless, the huge point here is that we offer a retrofit solution that solves carbon emissions from trucking now.

> Independent testing of the Tesla Semi will prove or disprove all these claims.

It sounds like you think it is fine to make claims that are unsupported by any evidence, or by basic logic, until a counter-example to your claims is physically available for independent testing. That’s unbelievably disappointing to hear.

"Our device works perfectly in all climates, while electric vehicles lose more than 40% of their range in cold weather, making them impractical for many parts of the world.”

Having this tagline on your website is ignorant if you hadn’t done the math, and intellectually dishonest now that you have.

I agree that the “huge point” of this announcement is the device you’ve created. You just don’t need to resort to misinformation to promote your product.

What's the nation-wide demand for CO2 for concrete? Is it high enough that they can continue to be your CO2 consumer if you add this to, say, 10% of trucks?

There are 230 million tons of demand for CO2 worldwide every year, and all the semi trucks in the US produce 340 million tons of CO2. Medium term, though, we're actually planning to start sequestering the CO2 deep underground in depleted oil wells in exchange for government tax credits, because we know the market for CO2 utilization is finite. Long term, we'd love to turn the CO2 back into synthetic fuel right at the truck stop where it's offloaded.

Unless the carbon is being sequestered comparing it to planting trees (based on how much trees sequester) is not a terribly useful metric

What a creative and well-fitting company name!

Why semi-trucks, and not boats? A single, large boat pollutes way more than hundreds of trucks.

I can imagine scaling the tech up to deal with large ships is a lot more challenging.

But I'm posting this from a small boat with a pretty standard diesel engine also used in agricultural and plant vehicles, and something like that would fit in my engine bay...

We wanted to start by building a low-cost, modular device that we can retrofit onto existing semi trucks, since that's much easier than retrofitting onto a cargo ship or other boat. But we definitely hope to expand to mining haul trucks, locomotives, cargo ships and other bigger forms of long-haul transport down the line!

It seems that a bonus feature would be cleaner exhaust -- at least for diesel particulates go.


This sounds pretty awesome! Best wishes!

Any thoughts on using this on freight trains?

For sure we want to capture CO2 from all the combustion engines in use, starting with the largest emitters puts trains and cargo ships next on the list.

Lots of work to do to adapt our technology to those markets, but we love inventing new technologies!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts

Isn't this the job of a catalytic converter?

Best luck to you.

I'm not sure how this would work exactly but I'm wondering if you're considering federal/military applications? I know the Biden admin is trying to dramatically decrease emissions from federal fleets but the US military has a massive carbon footprint. Maybe you could stick these on the more standard transport vehicles they're running? You might chat with the folks at DIU.mil who look for cool dual-use tech for the government

That's a great idea. We've definitely been thinking about partnering with the government, especially with the Biden admin.

I'm in the transportation industry and your use of "semi-truck" doesn't instill confidence.

I'm surprised to hear this distinction. I've had my CDL for 15 years and worked on trucks for about a decade allover the east coast and found that when talking to the general public semi truck was the best way to talk about Class 8 trucks and calling them 'tractors' was always the worst.

Always interested to hear your experience.

Good to know. We use the term "semi truck" because it's more widely used, and we figured that folks might not know the term class 8 truck!

Heya, nice to see this getting coverage.

See you over on AirMiners, the place for 800+ entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists mining carbon from the air :)


Thanks Tito. We're big fans of AirMiners!

I'm enjoying digging into this. One minor thing, I'm not sure you want to quote Bill Gates as a definitive source of information on electric vehicles. For example, Elon Musk has publicly called Gates an idiot about his comments on electric technologies. Right or wrong I don't think quoting Gates helps your credibility in this case, unless your angle is political support.

Thanks so much for that feedback. Definitely don't want to lean too heavily on Gates - we just decided to quote him to show that we're not the only ones who think electrification is going to be trickier for long-haul trucking than for cars! We're hearing this from a lot of our early customers as well, and we're definitely planning to share quotes from them as well down the line, once we're able to.

> we believe electrification won't work for long-haul trucking. Bill Gates agrees.

is very different from

> we ... think electrification is going to be trickier for long-haul trucking than for cars

Electrification will be trickier for long-haul trucking than for cars; no one would disagree with that. That doesn't imply that electrification "won't work" for long haul trucking (a statement that many would disagree with).

I hope your system does work, and that it's cost effective! It will allow us to start decarbonizing earlier! But medium to long-term, it's pretty clear (to me at least) that all forms of ground transportation will be battery/electric powered.

Totally. We'd genuinely love to be wrong - electrification is a great solution where it works! But our team has built battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell class 8 trucks, and our experience suggests they’re decades away from competing for long haul transport (given range, charging time, payload capacity, etc.). Even if that day comes, our solution is a fraction of the cost, works today with existing fleets, and with biofuels, it can make a truck carbon negative! That's something electrification wouldn't be able to achieve even if we did manage to overhaul the world's grid so that it's completely renewable, which we think will take decades, especially in the developing world.

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