Introducing Holy Grail
Come build one of the biggest industries in human history, removing billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. We’re hiring!
There is no longer any question about the need for carbon removal. Since the industrial revolution, humanity has added ~2.4 trillion tonnes of net CO2 to the atmosphere. Enough to tinker with the fundamental balance of Earth’s climate systems in dangerous ways. We’re already suffering year-round fires, heat domes, super floods, prolonged droughts, and a global mega-extinction event. These events pose an existential risk to the human race and Earth’s biodiversity. To keep our planet habitable and protect Earth’s biodiversity, we need to design solutions that make carbon removal one of the world's largest industries on the planet. This involves developing a new carbon capture technology and incentive system that scales. That’s what Holy Grail is working on. Today we’re inviting you to join us.
CO2 CAPTURE CELLS THAT SCALE LIKE SERVERS
At Holy Grail, we have developed a direct air capture technology that runs on electricity at ambient temperature and pressure. Using electrons instead of heat or pressure has pretty radical implications for what is a still nascent industry. Namely, it allows us to go small while everyone else is going big. Our first product is a modular, stackable cell. It’s made up of low-cost materials and well-understood processes configured in new ways to capture CO2 directly from the air. To start, we’re going to manufacture many small devices that can be deployed in small and large configurations anywhere that you can plug them in. At some point, we will probably build a very large stack of devices that, combined, can pull down millions of tons of CO2 per year, but what’s novel about our technology is that we don’t require large scale for it to work at a low cost. We imagine a world where a carbon capture device will be just another appliance, as ubiquitous as a microwave oven or an air conditioning system in our homes. These devices will empower everyone to participate in the carbon capture industry by being carbon neutral or negative. Instead of paying another company to offset your carbon emissions, we are turning power over to you to capture CO2 with total confidence about the impact you have on the planet.
DAC (Direct Air Capture) 1.0, or in other words, more mature carbon capture technologies, are typically based on liquid or solid sorbents and don’t offer the same combination of versatility and scale. They require a combination of high pressure and temperature to bind and release CO2. This creates the need for calciners, mechanical pumps, compressors, cryogenic air separators, and large quantities of water and energy to operate. This complexity has contributed to the idea that direct air capture will always have overwhelming CAPEX and OPEX, even when deployed at a megaton (1 million tons/year) scale.
This is starting to change. The last few years have seen the development of a new generation of carbon removal technologies that hold the promise of removing CO2 from the atmosphere economically enough that it can be turned into valuable chemicals or, better yet, pumped directly into underground storage to be locked away permanently. We believe we can deliver on the promise of low cost and scalable carbon removal and lay the foundation for an industry that rivals the size of the fossil fuel sector today. By taking a modular approach, Holy Grail enables faster manufacturing and, in turn, deployment at scale becomes as easy as stacking modules. Our vision is to deploy DAC cells like server racks that you can scale up or down depending on how much power you need. Build a massive farm or plug one in at home or in the office.
COME CAPTURE CO2 WITH US
Today, CO2 is a waste product with no management system. Imagine what would happen if we let people throw trash in the streets with no infrastructure to transport it to landfills and recycling facilities. To remove CO2 from the atmosphere at the scale required to keep all the places people currently live habitable for humans and other species — billions of tons per year — we need to drastically improve the technology to capture, store, and convert it into products we can use.
The majority of things we use and consume are made of carbon, meaning that if we can master capture and conversion, there are, in principle, endless applications for carbon-based inputs. We hope that, globally, the capacity to capture CO2 directly from the air allows us to return to something approaching pre-industrial levels (that is, ~280 parts per million, versus today at almost 420 ppm). Our intention at Holy Grail is to accelerate this process. We are lucky to have partners who share this vision, including Lowercarbon Capital, Goat Capital, Deep Science Ventures, Y Combinator, Starlight Ventures, 35 Ventures, Oliver Cameron, Patrick Collison, Charlie Songhurst, Kyle Vogt, Ian Hogarth, and Maya Bakhai.
We are excited to soon bring our first product to market and many more that will hopefully help humans and other species live sustainably on Earth for centuries to come. We have validated core aspects of our technology and have the resources to take it to the next level. We are looking for people who share our unconstrained ambition to make it happen even faster. If this is the type of work you can see yourself getting involved with, let us know here.