A startup helps a brewery get steamy
AtmosZero, a company emerging from stealth today and partnering with a prominent brewery, aims to electrify the production of steam used in industrial applications.
Why it matters: Climate-friendly steam production lacks the buzz of, say, electric vehicles. But it would cut carbon dioxide from multiple industries that use fossil fuel-powered boilers to supply heat.
State of play: The startup announced a pilot project with New Belgium Brewing, of Fat Tire fame, to deploy its electric boiler at the brewer's Fort Collins, Colorado, HQ next year.
- AtmosZero has developed an efficient electric boiler envisioned as a mass-produced, drop-in replacement for units now running on gas or petroleum.
- The company, also based in Colorado, sees applications in sectors like food, beverages and chemicals.
- The industrial equipment firm Danfoss is providing compressors for the pilot and ongoing testing.
The big picture: "Boiling water to generate process steam accounts for a quarter of all industrial emissions, and in a brewery facility like New Belgium's it represents the majority of their on-site fossil fuel consumption," AtmosZero CEO Addison Stark said in a statement.
Zoom in: AtmosZero has raised $7.5 million in seed finance from venture investors, Stark said. Backers include Energy Impact Partners, Starlight Ventures and AENU.
- Another $500,000 came via the Energy Department.
Quick take: The climate advantages have a loose parallel in EVs.
- Their CO2 edge over gasoline-powered vehicles expands as power grids become cleaner.
- "No matter the level of your grid emissions, our solution offers efficiency improvement and an emissions reduction," Stark told Axios in an interview.
- But he adds: "This is bringing a solution to market that takes advantage of the continually cleaning grid as well."
What's next: They hope to begin commercializing the product in late 2025.
The bottom line: Hitting global climate goals requires cleaner industrial processes.
- "Steam has been so important for industry since the first industrial real revolution. You know, it's not a sexy problem, but it is super impactful," Stark told Axios.
- "We think that decarbonizing steam is going to drive the next industrial revolution."