Cornell startup Carbon To Stone enters carbon removal pre-purchase agreement with Frontier
By Ellen Hartman
Carbon To Stone, a carbon management and resource recovery startup at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has received a $500,000 carbon removal pre-purchase agreement from Frontier, an advance market commitment that aims to accelerate the development of carbon removal technologies by guaranteeing future demand for them. The $500,000 pre-purchase agreement is an advance payment for the removal of sequestered carbon dioxide through direct air capture and carbon mineralization.
Carbon To Stone is developing strategies to capture carbon dioxide from air and store it as a durable solid carbonate – an approach that could support a negative emissions strategy. This technology is an outcome of efforts by the research group led by co-founder Greeshma Gadikota, assistant professor and Croll Sesquicentennial Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering. Gadikota’s research is centered on addressing critical questions associated with the consequences of how we use energy and resources and their impact on a changing climate. “Meeting our energy and resource needs while achieving ecological balance and stabilizing climate need not be mutually exclusive,” she said. “Transformative, scalable and realizable technologies are essential for driving a sustainable climate, environmental and energy future.”
Gadikota’s novel approach directly captures carbon dioxide from air and uses regenerable solvents to mineralize it into durable carbonates at rates that are several orders of magnitude faster than natural mineralization. By 2028, Carbon To Stone aims to scale up the technology to remove over 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide from air per year.
The calcium or magnesium carbonate–bearing end products can be stored indefinitely or reused in industrial processes, including in construction materials. Carbon To Stone is exploring additional end uses for these end products.
Frontier, an advance market commitment to accelerate the development of carbon removal technologies, was launched in April 2022 and is funded by Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta, McKinsey and tens of thousands of businesses using Stripe Climate. Frontier intends to catalyze companies exploring new solutions to help achieve carbon dioxide removal (CDR) goals and radical emissions reductions. This pre-purchase of 1,269 tons of carbon dioxide by Frontier is intended to help support Carbon to Stone’s promising technology on a pathway to a scalable solution.
Carbon to Stone’s technology is licensed through Cornell University’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL). “At CTL, we have been pleased to support Dr. Gadikota’s innovative and entrepreneurial growth, from patenting to supporting her through the Ignite Fellow for New Ventures program,” said Alice Li, executive director at CTL. “She was a winner of the inaugural Rising Women Innovator Award as well as the top award at Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s Eclectic Convergence in New York City this year. We are proud of her achievements and are looking forward to what is yet to come.”