Casey Handmer, Founder of Terraform Industries, is simultaneously tackling some of today’s toughest issues – providing the world with clean, reliable energy, while also trying to get atmospheric carbon levels under control. The Caltech alum joins Energy.Media to explain why he left his dream job working on spacecraft for NASA to instead help pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. His startup aims to make carbon capture scalable and profitable by cheaply turning CO2 into natural gas for energy reuse.
In this episode, Casey dives into the details behind Terraform’s technology, where he sees the business going, and his overall vision for the future of energy:
- Turning carbon dioxide into natural gas takes a lot of electricity. Terraform is tapping into the cheapening cost of solar to power their machinery.
- Based on Casey’s calculations, it is already cheaper in many places to use solar to produce hydrocarbons than it is to turn that same quantity of hydrocarbons into electricity. The environmental benefits aside, Casey believes solar-produced hydrocarbons from the air will inevitably replace traditional extractive industries from a strictly economic standpoint.
- The company is aiming to create a prototype by the end of the year to prove technical feasibility and ease of manufacture. With simplicity and affordability in mind, Terraform hopes to trigger rapid and widespread adoption of their tech to urgently stabilize atmospheric carbon concentrations.
- Terraform is focusing on conversion to natural gas, rather than traditional green hydrogen methods, due to the technical difficulties of storing and transporting hydrogen. Global infrastructure is already equipped to handle natural gas, making Terraform’s technology backwards compatible with existing energy systems.
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