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Start-up turns CO2 into jet fuel

Words by Smiley Team

The Ukraine-Russia conflict has had a spiraling effect around the world, primarily involving gas and petrol prices. Since the beginning of the conflict, gas prices have risen steadily and in the U.S. alone, gas prices have surged 22% in only two weeks. 

Oil and gas reserves are already a contentious topic with the ongoing climate crisis, with many pushing for a move away from fossil fuels to something more renewable and sustainable. The San Fransisco Bay area startup, Twelve, may have found a connector between the two.

Twelve, formerly Opus Twelve, has been working on technology to capture CO2 and transform it into other products, most notably, fuel. The startup has already partnered with the United States Air Force to begin producing jet fuel for their planes. 

The process was created by Twelve’s chief science officer Etosha Cave, and Twelve’s cofounder Kendra Kuhl. At Stanford University, they developed technology that can convert carbon dioxide pollution into ingredients for products like plastic and jet fuel that are currently made from petroleum. 

“In theory, it can become anything that you can make from petroleum,” Cave told Optimist Daily.

'We can create a new standard of how things get made'

On their website, Twelve advertises everything from glasses to Mercedes Benz parts, all made from their CO2 capture and transformation system.

“Carbon transformation fundamentally changes this paradigm by sourcing carbon from CO2 instead of fossil fuels. By replacing the fossil carbon in critical chemicals with renewable, recycled carbon from CO2, we can eliminate emissions from thousands of essential products and set a new standard for how things get made in the climate era,” they said. 

The entire structure of Twelve is centered on understanding our connection to carbon and that we can’t move away from it if we didn’t want to completely uplift how society runs today.

“Nearly all products and systems we rely on daily use carbon as a resource, from what we wear, to how we live and how we move. Carbon is not the enemy; the problem is that using carbon from fossil fuels is causing global warming,” Kuhl told Business Wire. “By sourcing carbon from waste CO2, rather than from fossil fuels, we can reverse emissions while making useful products that drive our global economy.” 

In July 2021, Twelve raised over $57 million in funding through a number of groups like Capricorn Technology Impact Fund and Carbon Direct Capital Management.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Do you want to help reduce carbon in our world? Support Carbon Fund

GET INVOLVED: Carbon180, formerly the Center for Carbon Removal, is a new breed of climate-focused NGO on a mission to fundamentally rethink carbon.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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