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Image courtesy Nuno Pereira, Holy Grail

Climate Change

Holy Grail Founder Nuno Pereira Talks Carbon Capture & The Future (Interview)

When did you get the inspiration for Holy Grail, and how did the company come into existence?

We started the company 2 years ago because we wanted to have an impact on sustainability. We started the company in London at Deep Science Ventures, went through Y Combinator, and stayed in California.

When you initially reached out to people for financing, how was the reaction, and how did it develop until now?

The reaction was good overall, we are very happy with the investors we have onboard.

Nuno Pereira

Could you explain the technical approach behind Holy Grail a little? 

We developed a simpler way to capture CO2 from the atmosphere that does not need pressure or temperature to operate, just electricity, this enables us to build smaller modular scrubbers.

How far are you away from where you think you can begin with commercial applications?

We plan to start selling carbon credits by the end of this year or beginning of next.

In your opinion, where is carbon capture in 5 years – and where is it in 10 years?

Where it will be depends on everyone, the future is not set and it is everyone’s responsibility to influence it in a good way, in 5 years I hope to see more companies scaling their technologies and wide scale adoption in.

What other cleantech companies (and organizations) are a particular inspiration to you and Holy Grail?

I will not name just one or two, I am  very happy to see such a strong momentum of cleantech in general, this is the right thing to do and it is amazing to see so many  people working on in this area.

If there is one company you’d like to work together with, which one would it be and why? Maybe someone is reading this who can make the connection!

Also not naming one 🙂 we want to work with all companies and people that care about carbon capture and sustainability in general.

What advice would you give to other cleantech founders, such as what mistakes to avoid?

This is a cliché but I will say it anyway. I believe that it is very important to do what you are really passionate about, not only having passion about the final goal but about the process too. In my opinion perseverance is one of the most important factors and if you don’t have intrinsic motivation it will be harder to build a long term company.

What policy would you like to see happening in the US?

I believe that a radical change in policy would not be consequential because we need much better technology. Increasing the carbon tax would accelerate carbon capture adoption in the short term, but in the long term it doesn’t matter because the cost of capture needs to come down to make it feasible at the scale that is needed.

Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or both, in terms of humanity and climate change?

Optimist, that’s why we started the company. Climate change is a huge and complex problem, but we believe that technology can have a meaningful impact in solving it, not only in direct carbon capture but other areas like energy production, energy storage, protein production, manufacturing and many more. The planet has finite resources, to use them more efficiently we need better technology.

Images courtesy Nuno Pereira and Holy Grail

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Written By

I'm investing in positive companies and am passionate about climate action and long-term human challenges. Early partner at BEAM (United People of Climate Action) and CleanTechnica (#1 cleantech-focused new & analysis website in the world), among others.


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