The number of Israeli startups in the burgeoning carbon dioxide capture sector has quadrupled over the past year.
About two years ago, in their spare time, Iddo Tsur and Dan Deviri started thinking about carbon capture. At that time, Tsur, a graduate of the prestigious IDF Talpiot program, was managing technological development projects for the defense establishment and Deviri was working on his doctorate in physics at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, after already obtaining degrees in biology and chemistry. With curriculum vitae like these, Deviri and Tsur could probably have obtained funding to found a startup in almost any field they wanted, but the two set their sights on climate technologies (climatech), specifically its most challenging area: capturing carbon from the atmosphere.
The goal: Partial rectification of industrialization
Carbon capture refers to the technologies and methods used to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air. For almost 6,000 years of human civilization, up until the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels in the air stood at about 280 parts per million (ppm). Since then, however, factories, power plants, vehicles, and other pollutants have emitted about 1.5 trillion tonnes of carbon into the air, raising the concentration of atmospheric carbon around us to 421 ppm, as of May 2022. This rising concentration of atmospheric carbon traps heat on the earth’s surface instead of its being released into space. It is also the main cause of global warming.