Made of Air – Turning manufactured goods into engineered carbon sinks

Made of Air leadership team (from left to right): Neema Shams (CCO), Daniel Schwaag (CTO), Allison Dring (CEO)

Made of Air takes low-value wood waste and transforms it into high-value, carbon-negative thermoplastics. These thermoplastics can be formed with all traditional heat-forming methods and used for a wide variety of applications and consumer goods, turning manufactured goods into engineered carbon sinks.

Made of Air leadership team (from left to right): Neema Shams (CCO), Daniel Schwaag (CTO), Allison Dring (CEO)

Made of Air’s process goes from biomass waste (like wood waste) to biochar (through pyrolysis) to thermoplastic compound granules, which are then formed into different end-products. Through this process, Made of Air can replace fossil thermoplastics and other high emitting materials across a wide range of durable use cases, such as consumer goods, the built environment and automotive. Once in form, the stored carbon can not only find a valuable use but also create an effective pathway to the ground for permanent sequestration. As a biochar-based composite, the materials are not harmful to a landfill environment, and will effectively sink carbon in subterraneous deposits for centuries.

The founder’s Allison and Daniel previously worked together over a decade developing, manufacturing and installing a building product that reduced air pollution in cities. Out of this work came the understanding of the opportunity to store massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere into buildings and products. Neema joined in 2020 to help drive the company towards the scale required to help reverse climate change with a background in scaling renewable energy technologies.

The Made of Air team is currently in the process of setting up a pilot production facility outside of Berlin. This will prove the process at scale and set the basis for rapid scale up. This capacity will be targeted at Made of Air’s current partners in the automobile industry and others. In the ClimAccelerator programme and with support from Munich Re and ERGO the team works to better understand the carbon value of its materials.

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