big win

Clean tech co. with U.S. HQ selected for UAE carbon capture project

Carbon Clean develops carbon capture technology for customers such as cement producers, steelmakers, refineries, and waste-to-energy plants.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC), the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates, has chosen technology from United Kingdom-based company Carbon Clean for a carbon capture project in Abu Dhabi. Carbon Clean’s U.S. headquarters is in Houston.

Carbon Clean’s modular CycloneCC technology will be used for a carbon capture project at a Fertiglobe nitrogen fertilizer plant. Fertiglobe is a joint venture between ADNOC and OCI Global, a Netherlands-based chemical company.

“This project is hugely significant given it’s the first industrial deployment of our award-winning CycloneCC technology anywhere in the world,” says Aniruddha Sharma, chairman and CEO of Carbon Clean. “We are moving a step closer to achieving full commercialization of this modular solution, which will play a vital role in decarbonizing heavy industries and achieving net-zero targets.”

Carbon Clean develops carbon capture technology for customers such as cement producers, steelmakers, refineries, and waste-to-energy plants. The company bills its offering as the “world’s smallest industrial carbon capture technology.”

CycloneCC can reduce the cost of carbon capture by as much as 50 percent with a footprint that’s 50 percent smaller than traditional carbon capture units, according to Carbon Clean. The startup’s unit arrives ready to install and can be up and running in eight weeks.

The company established its Houston outpost earlier this year.

In 2022, Houston-based Chevron New Energies led the company’s $150 million series C round. Other contributors to the round were CEMEX Ventures, Marubeni, WAVE Equity Partners, AXA IM Alts, Samsung Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and TC Energy. To date, Carbon Clean has raised $195 million.

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A View From HETI

Houston could have ranked higher on a global report of top cities in the world if it had a bit more business diversification. Photo via Getty Images

A new analysis positions the Energy Capital of the World as an economic dynamo, albeit a flawed one.

The recently released Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 largest cities, puts Houston at No. 25.

Houston ranks well for economics (No. 15) and human capital (No. 18), but ranks poorly for governance (No. 184), environment (No. 271), and quality of life (No. 298).

New York City appears at No. 1 on the index, followed by London; San Jose, California; Tokyo; and Paris. Dallas lands at No. 18 and Austin at No. 39.

In its Global Cities Index report, Oxford Economics says Houston’s status as “an international and vertically integrated hub for the oil and gas sector makes it an economic powerhouse. Most aspects of the industry — downstream, midstream, and upstream — are managed from here, including the major fuel refining and petrochemicals sectors.”

“And although the city has notable aerospace and logistics sectors and has diversified into other areas such as biomedical research and tech, its fortunes remain very much tied to oil and gas,” the report adds. “As such, its economic stability and growth lag other leading cities in the index.”

The report points out that Houston ranks highly in the human capital category thanks to the large number of corporate headquarters in the region. The Houston area is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Sysco.

Another contributor to Houston’s human capital ranking, the report says, is the presence of Rice University, the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

“Despite this,” says the report, “it lacks the number of world-leading universities that other cities have, and only performs moderately in terms of the educational attainment of its residents.”

Slower-than-expected population growth and an aging population weaken Houston’s human capital score, the report says.

Meanwhile, Houston’s score for quality is life is hurt by a high level of income inequality, along with a low life expectancy compared with nearly half the 1,000 cities on the list, says the report.

Also in the quality-of-life bucket, the report underscores the region’s variety of arts, cultural, and recreational activities. But that’s offset by urban sprawl, traffic congestion, an underdeveloped public transportation system, decreased air quality, and high carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the report downgrades Houston’s environmental stature due to the risks of hurricanes and flooding.

“Undoubtedly, Houston is a leading business [center] that plays a key role in supporting the U.S. economy,” says the report, “but given its shortcomings in other categories, it will need to follow the path of some of its more well-rounded peers in order to move up in the rankings.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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