Methanol is one of the most important chemicals. In addition to its direct uses (as a fuel, as a fuel additive etc), methanol is important because it is the starting material to produce a wide range of other chemicals that can be used to make or used in plastics & polymers, polymers, construction materials, pharmaceuticals and agrichemicals.
India currently imports almost 90% of its total demand of methanol. This is where ideas such as these that result in indigenous methanol production as well as simultaneous use of captured CO2 come in useful. Breathe’s solution can be considered as belonging to the broad trend of CO2 utilization in which CO2 captured from power plants, industries or even directly from air is utilized to make a range of products - fuels, chemicals, food and even diamonds, yes, diamonds!
Exciting as it may sound, CO2 utilization is still in its early stages. For one, there is significant technology turbulence on the optimal pathways to convert CO2 into end products. Even more important, the economics of CO2 based products are currently unfavourable for many products and pathways.
It takes some brave souls to venture into this domain, but those who win could reap very rich rewards.
Breathe appears to be one of those intrepid startups from India - we perhaps need more of them.
Team EAI wishes Breathe the very best!