Aircarbon replaces traditional plastics, providing scalable approach to decarbonization, sustainability
Looking to significantly expand its regenerative practice of transforming air and greenhouse gas into a material called “Aircarbon,” Newlight Technologies has chosen decarbonization solutions leader Black & Veatch to design the biotechnology company’s next commercial-scale plant in Ohio.
Newlight uses a nature-inspired technology found in ecosystems throughout the world, including in the ocean, wherein naturally occurring microorganisms consume air and greenhouse gas through fermentation to produce a muscle-like material inside of their cells called PHB. PHB is an energy storage material made in most living organisms – from marine microorganisms to the roots of plants – and can be melted into shapes as a replacement for plastic. Founded in 2003, Newlight is the first company to directly transform greenhouse gases into PHB, a biomaterial that the company calls Aircarbon, at commercial scale.
Aircarbon competes on performance with various grades of polypropylene, the second largest-volume plastic in the world. With a variety of potential industries to serve, Newlight’s primary focus is on delivered material for the foodware, fashion and automotive industries. Customers and partners of Newlight, which launched its first commercial-scale Aircarbon production facility in 2020, include Shake Shack, Nike, Target, H&M, Ben & Jerry’s, Sumitomo, US Foods and Sysco, with millions of Aircarbon units delivered to consumers to date.
“Newlight’s goal is to help provide scalable, market-driven solutions to solving plastic pollution and climate change said Mark Herrema, Newlight’s CEO. “The Ohio plant will move us another step closer to our goal of large-scale impact, and we are thrilled to partner with Black & Veatch as part of that.”
“At a time when concerns about both climate change and ocean plastic are at the forefront of the push to make the world cleaner and greener, Newlight is a shining example of the innovative spirit needed to make a difference in our environment,” said Kevin Currence, project director at Black & Veatch. “This project that aligns with our values and our company emphasis on accelerating sustainability across all of the markets we serve.”
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a 100-percent employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2021 exceeded US$3.3 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
Newlight is a nature-inspired biotechnology company converting air and greenhouse gas into a biomaterial called Aircarbon®. Aircarbon is a high-performance, carbon-negative PHB biomaterial produced by naturally occurring microorganisms that is being used to replace plastic in industrial segments ranging from foodware to fashion. Newlight’s mission is to help end plastic pollution and climate change by replacing plastic with Aircarbon, creating global-scale economic and environmental value. For more information about Newlight and Aircarbon, visit www.aircarbon.com.
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