University of Edinburgh spinout Carbogenics has announced it has raised more than £1m in investment to build its first green energy production and R&D facility.
The company turns difficult-to-recycle food, farm and paper waste that would otherwise go to landfill or be sent for incineration into a product called CreChar®.
CreChar is a carbon-rich, porous material that will help stabilise the performance of anaerobic digestion plants, which use natural biological processes to break down organic waste. It will enhance green energy production from food and farming, and permanently sequester carbon in soils.
CreChar’s technology was developed at the University’s School of Geosciences, and Carbogenics spun out in 2016 with the support of Edinburgh Innovations (EI), the University’s commercialisation service. The company’s initial funding included investment from Old College Capital, the University’s venture investment fund, part of EI.
OCC has again invested in the company, alongside new lead investor Green Angel Ventures and repeat investor Scottish Enterprise.
Based on successful lab and industrial trials, Carbogenics’ growth plan includes building its first production facility in Perthshire by spring 2024 to enable the launch of CreChar into the UK anaerobic digestion market. The company is also creating new roles across production, operations and business development, doubling its size, and is in the process of raising further debt and investment finance in the coming months.
Professor Ed Craig, CEO of Carbogenics, said:
Carbogenics has become the stand-out company producing and using Biochar in the UK. This investment will allow us to scale the business significantly, including building our first production facility, solidifying our customer base in the UK, and facilitating our European expansion plans.
As a Scottish born enterprise, we are delighted to re-invest back into Scotland, despite the significant market opportunities presented across Europe where countries like Denmark aim to be 100% powered by biogas by mid 2030s."
Andrea Young, Head of Investment at Old College Capital, said:
Carbogenics continues to innovate and as energy security joins sustainability as a key priority for the energy transition we believe the UK will grow its use of biogas from the current c1% and mirror its trading partners in Europe.”
We are delighted to support this investment round alongside Green Angel Ventures and Scottish Enterprise. Carbogenics is an exciting example of how University research can enable innovative solutions to tackle major climate and environmental challenges.”
Cam Ross, CEO of Green Angel Ventures, said:
Green Angel Ventures invests exclusively in companies fighting climate change. Our 350 specialist angel syndicate members were attracted by the large potential for carbon impact with Carbogenics' technology, and our Climate Change Fund was a natural additional investor.
Professor Craig and his team have developed a process which should genuinely help fight the biggest challenge we need to tackle, and they have our full support.”
CreChar® has a wide range of applications, with Carbogenics focusing on its proven ability to enhance and stabilise anaerobic digestion and supporting significant carbon sequestration and fertilisation, locking away carbon for hundreds of years.
Staffed by experienced entrepreneurs, industrial practitioners, and world-class scientists with access to the University's testing facilities and industrial partners, Carbogenics won the top prize in Converge as well as Shell Springboard in 2018.