Newlight Technologies has chosen decarbonization solutions leader Black & Veatch to develop the biotechnology company's first commercial-scale facility in Ohio, with the goal of considerably expanding its regenerative process of changing air and greenhouse gases into a substance dubbed "Aircarbon."
Newlight employs a nature-inspired technology found in ecosystems across the world, including the ocean, in which naturally occurring microbes consume air and greenhouse gases through fermentation to form a muscle-like substance called PHB inside their cells. PHB is an energy storage polymer found in most living species, ranging from sea bacteria to plant roots, and may be melted into forms to replace plastic. Newlight, which was founded in 2003, is the first firm to directly convert greenhouse gases into PHB, a biomaterial that the company calls “Aircarbon,” at a commercial scale.
Aircarbon competes on performance with various grades of polypropylene, the world's second most popular plastic. Despite having a wide range of possible sectors to serve, Newlight's core focus is on delivering material for the footwear, fashion, and automotive industries. Shake Shack, Nike, Target, H&M, Ben & Jerry's, Sumitomo, US Foods, and Sysco are among the customers and partners of Newlight, which inaugurated its first commercial-scale Aircarbon manufacturing facility in 2020, with millions of Aircarbon units sold to consumers to date.
Mark Herrema, Newlight’s CEO, said that Newlight's mission is to assist deliver scalable, market-driven solutions to plastic pollution and climate change. The Ohio factory will bring them one step closer to their aim of having a large-scale effect, and they are happy to be a part of that.
Kevin Currence, project director at Black & Veatch, said that at a time when worries about climate change and ocean waste are at the forefront of the global movement to make the world cleaner and greener, Newlight is a shining example of the innovative spirit needed to make a difference in our environment. This initiative reflects their principles and the company's dedication to driving sustainability across all sectors they serve.
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