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Kiwi Clean-Tech Firm Flies High in Global Contest

September 24, 2012

Kiwi Clean-Tech Firm Flies High in Global Contest

CarbonScape wins runner-up prize in enviro-business challenge – potential investors already knocking on the door

BLENHEIM, NEW ZEALAND: Carbon-refining company CarbonScape™ has taken a runner-up prize in the international Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge co-sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and will take home a grant of €100,000 (NZ $156,600).

It’s believed to be the first time a New Zealand company has won an award in the competition.

The Blenheim start-up overcame more than 500 other contestants from around the world to reach the final three and was awarded a runner-up prize for its patented CO2-reducing, continuous-flow microwave technology after presenting its business case at a CGI dinner attended by statespeople, scientists, philanthropists and business leaders in New York earlier today.

The initiative was founded in 2005 by former United States president Bill Clinton to “forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges”. President Obama and candidate Mitt Romney are speakers at the CGI annual meeting this week.

CarbonScape™ has developed patented continuous-flow microwave technology in an energy self-sufficient process to convert wood and other waste into high-value graphite, Activated Carbon (AC), and metallurgical coke. All products are made from renewable feed stocks and in the case of both graphite and coke replace fossil fuels. AC is a molecular filter used in diverse applications including water treatment and flue gas scrubbing.

The widespread introduction of CarbonScape’s™ renewable “green coke” to replace fossil fuels such as coal in the steel industry would significantly impact total global Green House Gas emissions.

The company has already signed a deal with a large New Zealand steel manufacturer to supply 9000 tonnes of “green coke” for 2013. To fulfil the order, however, CarbonScape™ needs to expand its Blenheim plant to commercial production.

“Winning this grant means will help us go ahead with the plant. It also opens so many doors and will fast-track our international development,” explains CarbonScape™ director Tim Langley.

Fellow director Nick Gerritsen was in New York to present his company’s business case to the audience and collect the accolades.

“I’m completely blown away not only by winning this prize but also by the level of excitement and interest we’re generating from potential investors and customers, world leaders and media,” Gerritsen said after collecting the award.

“It’s been a long, hard road since we started in 2006 but we knew we had a winner in our technology. This success is down to our hard-working team in New Zealand and the faith a small group of investors have shown in us. I’m immensely grateful to all of them.”

The eventual winner was a United States entry Molly Morse: Mango Materials. Mango Materials uses bacteria to convert methane into biodegradable plastic, which can be made into products that can ultimately undergo recycling in the same microbial process.

CarbonScape @CarbonScape

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