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Newlight Technologies

Founded out of Princeton University and Northwestern University in 2003, Newlight Technologies, LLC. is an Irvine, CA based company that develops technologies to convert air and greenhouse gases into high-performance bioplastics. Inspired by the carbon-capturing processes found in plants, Newlight has developed a carbon capture technology that converts carbon that would otherwise become a part of the air into AirCarbon, a plastic material that can match the performance of oil-based plastics with significantly lower price. The AirCarbon production process uses carbon that would otherwise become a part into the air: methane-based carbon generated from sources such as farms, landfills, water treatment plants, and energy production sites.

First, that carbon is captured, mixed with air, and inserted into a polymerization system. Once inside, the air stream is contacted with an advanced biocatalyst operating at nearly an order of magnitude higher yield than previous biocatalysts. The biocatalyst works by separating carbon from an air stream, and then re-arranging that carbon into a long chain of carbon to form a plastic molecule called AirCarbon. The plastic molecule is then removed from the reactor system and processed into a pellet, which can then be melted and formed into shapes as a replacement for oil-based plastics.

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