Investing into Mission Zero Technologies to unlock versatile direct air capture for gigatonne scale impact

4 min readMar 18, 2024


Mission Zero Technologies co-founders: Nicholas Chadwick, Gaël Gobaille-Shaw, Shiladitya Ghosh

What if we could undo the climate change we’ve already caused? Already today, temperatures have risen 1.2ºC above pre-industrial times, and warming is likely to overshoot 1.5ºC by the early 2030s. But what if we could capture our historic CO2 overshoot emissions, and what if we could then store that CO2 in our buildings or recycle that carbon to make fuels and chemicals currently produced from fossil fuels?

Motivated by the likelihood of a 1.5ºC overshoot and the exponentially growing harm of every 0.1°C above 1.5°C, we began our search for scalable carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. Limiting warming to <1.5°C or even <2°C will likely require removing ~500–900 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere before the end of the century, averaging 6–11 Gt CO2/yr of CDR.

With lower land, water, and material use and higher verifiability, direct air capture (DAC) has a key role to play in the portfolio of CDR solutions needed to reach this scale, but three key hurdles need to be addressed for DAC to realise its full potential:

  1. Lower costs. As has been widely covered, first generation DAC technologies are too expensive and will likely stay that way (for example, see the recent study from ETH Zurich predicting DAC + storage costs of $341/tCO2 at 1 Gt CO2/yr cumulative capacity). But for next generation DAC technologies that can quickly come down the cost curve, there is opportunity to access vast volumes of CDR demand in the immediate future (~10 Mt CO2 of 2030 durable CDR demand at ~$300/tCO2, ~25 Mt CO2 at $250/tCO2, and ~50 Mt CO2 at $200/tCO2).
  2. Lower energy consumption. First generation DAC technologies are expected to use >2000 kWh/tCO2. At this level, removing 1 Gt CO2 would require ~2% of today’s global annual final energy demand. We are focused on technologies that aim to cost effectively achieve energy intensities of <1000 kWh/tCO2. At this level, the amount of renewable energy needed to remove 1 Gt of CO2 via DAC is similar to the amount of renewable energy needed to mitigate 1 Gt of CO2 via vehicle electrification.
  3. Faster scaling. Today, the DAC industry is still in its infancy, with deployed capacity of just 0.01 Mt CO2/yr. Scaling to 1 Gt CO2/yr by 2050 will require a 100,000-fold growth in deployed capacity. For DAC to be on this path to 1 Gt CO2/yr by 2050, a minimum deployed capacity of 10 Mt CO2/yr is likely needed by 2030, making the 2020s the “make-or-break” decade for DAC.

Focusing on teams and technologies that could address all three of these challenges, our search led us to London-based Mission Zero Technologies. Importantly, MZT co-founders Gaël, Shil, and Nick built their technology around the realisation that to scale, the system would need to be economically viable from the start, and MZT prioritised building a system that could come down the cost curve rapidly, even at small scales.

The result? A hyper versatile, modular DAC system with the flexibility to serve decarbonisation use cases at any scale — large or small — cost effectively, with a target to reach <$300/tCO2 by 2026. Moreover, MZT’s electrochemical regeneration technology directly targets the CO2 molecule, significantly enhancing energy efficiency, while inherent flexibility in the process allows MZT to make the most of (low carbon and low cost) variable renewable electricity. Finally, motivated by the urgency with which solutions must be derisked and scaled, MZT leverages off-the-shelf equipment with established supply chains, enabling rapid deployment and positioning MZT as one of the few DAC providers that can scale to the challenge near-term.

Video of MZT’s first plant in the UK

With its versatile technology, MZT has a vision to reinvent the world’s relationship with carbon at gigatonne scale. MZT’s DAC technology will capture CO2 for durable storage, but also for carbon circularity use cases, producing fuel and building materials, effectively transforming our cities from CO2 sources into CO2 sinks. And this transformation is already happening today: MZT will have 3 fully-financed plants on the ground by the end of 2024: one with Deep Sky for carbon removal, one with Sheffield University for sustainable aviation fuel production, and one with O.C.O Technology for carbon-negative building materials manufacturing.

We are thrilled to lead Mission Zero’s Series A with support from World Fund, Fortescue, Siemens Financial Services and existing investor Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Alongside our fellow investors as well as Mission Zero’s deployment partners and customers, we look forward to supporting Nick, Shil, Gaël, and their team as they make low cost, energy efficient, mass deployable DAC a reality in any location, at any scale, for carbon use and permanent removal.

MZT’s unit deployed in Sheffield. The first DAC deployment in the UK.


2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment. 2150’s investment thesis focuses on major unsolved problems across what it calls the ‘Urban Stack’, which comprises every element of the built environment, from the way our cities are designed, constructed and powered, to the way people live, work and are cared for. Find out more at 2150 is a part of Urban Partners.




2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment.