Using Wind Turbines to catch Greenhouse Gases


Sustainability, 18.04.2024

Yuri Tsitrinbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of BomVento, plans to transform wind turbine to sequester greenhouse gases. In his interview with //next columnist Markus Sekulla, Yuri talks about the current state of research and strategies for moving beyond the testing phase towards successful implementation. BomVento takes part in the Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator programme of EIT Climate-KIC that is supported by Munich Re and ERGO.

BomVento Team in Lab 

Hi Yuri, who are you and what does BomVento do?

My name is Yuri Tsitrinbaum, and I'm based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. At BomVento, we address the challenge of irreversible climate change. In other words, our mission is to prevent irreversible climate change by reducing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere on a large scale, economically.

When we consider global warming and assume it's driven by human action, there are two things we need to do collectively as humanity. Firstly, we must dramatically reduce our emissions. If we can achieve this effectively, it would suffice. However, because we're not effectively doing so, we also need to find ways to reduce emissions from the atmosphere. This is where we come in. Currently, there is no real solution that can remove greenhouse gases at gigaton level economically; we are working to address this gap.

Could you describe your solution in simple words?

While greenhouse gas levels have spiked over the past 200 years, they're still measured in parts per million. This presents a unique challenge: tackling gigatons of greenhouse gases demands the processing of immense volumes of air – a challenge our solution is designed to address.

Our solution leverages existing infrastructure that already interacts with massive volumes of air, transforming it into dual-purpose assets. Imagine offshore wind turbines – with each 7MW turbine sweep of a 160-meter wingspan, a single turbine processes roughly 50 billion cubic meters of air annually.

By integrating our technology, these turbines not only generate clean energy but also capture greenhouse gases at scale. Each enhanced turbine could remove close to 10,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year. This approach is key to scaling carbon removal solutions, minimizing operational costs and complexity.

“By integrating our technology, these turbines not only generate clean energy but also capture greenhouse gases at scale.”

Yuri Tsitrinbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of BomVento

How exactly can this work?

It’s about transforming a wind turbine. We use a chemical process called photocatalysis. To give you an analogy, think about cars with catalytic converters. A catalytic converter is within a chamber connected to the exhaust pipe. Inside, there are heat (energy) and precious metals (catalyst), and they cause a chemical reaction that turns harmful molecules into harmless ones. This reduces pollutants from the car's engine by up to 70%.

We apply a similar process to the blades of the wind turbine, but instead of using heat and precious metals, our process is driven by light energy and much cheaper catalyst. This process, called photocatalysis, breaks down greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide into Nitrogen and Oxygen, Methane to water and CO2.

We apply this solution to the turbine blades by coating them with a special material. It could be a film or a paint-like substance. Essentially, it's a layer of coating that facilitates this chemical reaction, helping to clean the air as the turbine operates.

Why haven’t we had this in place for decades?

That’s a good question! Until recently, there was simply no significant market for carbon removal solutions. This lack of demand meant little incentive for investment or research. However, the landscape is rapidly changing, and the growth potential for this industry is now undeniable.

While the science behind our concept is sound, we are indeed pioneering a unique approach – no one has done precisely what we're doing. That's why we're currently setting up our lab with the support of EIT Climate-KIC and other partners. We're establishing the infrastructure needed for research that will enhance our understanding and capability in this field. This cutting-edge research facility will allow us to deepen our knowledge and refine our capability, pushing the boundaries of carbon removal technology.

“While the science behind our concept is sound, we are indeed pioneering a unique approach – no one has done precisely what we're doing.”

Yuri Tsitrinbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of BomVento

Do you have competitors or are there only peers? What sets you apart from these companies?

The landscape of carbon markets today is quite nascent. There is a relatively small number of companies operating in this space, all are still in research and development phases. As such, the competition is not aggressive and is primarily over resources and the relatively few carbon credits offtakers.

Looking ahead, the scale of the problem is such that if the markets expand and demand grows, there will be immense opportunities. We envision collaboration rather than competition, recognizing that addressing the climate crisis requires collective effort and a multitude of solutions.

What is the biggest challenge you're facing right now?

A significant challenge is gaining the confidence of key stakeholders to join us on this journey. How do we convince more traditional major players like wind turbine manufacturers to invest in our idea, even at this early stage? It's about building traction and credibility through partnerships and demonstrating the potential of our solution. Ultimately, it's about instilling confidence in financiers to provide the funding necessary for us to have a real shot at success.

We need resources to conduct tests, acquire materials, and optimize our processes for efficiently reducing greenhouse gases. The bottleneck isn't equipment or personnel—it's access to capital that allows us to scale up our operations and tackle multiple challenges simultaneously. So, while it may not be the most glamorous answer, funding is crucial for our progress.

Wind turbines

The world needs CO2eq removal of 40 gigatons per year to make the turnaround actually work. Where are we and where could we be?

We're still a long way from that goal. Even removing just two gigatons sounds unimaginable right now. I was listening to a lecture from Stanford yesterday, where the professor tried to put it in perspective. He said, if we put all 8 billion of us humans on a scale, the reduction needed would be like doubling the weight of every single person on Earth. It's a staggering scale to imagine, and we're nowhere near it.

Even if we consider the best-case scenarios and all available technologies, the cost to have a real impact is immense. We'd need trillions of dollars to achieve it. And frankly, I don't think the global economy is prioritizing this issue enough yet. I remain optimistic. I believe that humanity will eventually realize that preventing the climate crisis is far cheaper than dealing with its consequences.

The scalability factor is crucial here. Let me explain why wind integration is so important. Large wind projects, especially offshore ones, have been struggling financially due to low margins. However, with our solution, a turbine that generates between 1.2 and 1.5 million dollars in electricity revenue could potentially add another 1 million dollars in revenue from carbon credits. This completely changes the economics of wind energy. If we can demonstrate this benefit to the industry, it opens the door for widespread adoption and scalability of our solution.

You don't have a website right now. How can people find out more about your start-up?

Currently, the best way is to reach out to me via email ( Our focus has been on engaging specific stakeholders through conversations like the one we're having now. We will – of course - have a website in the very near future. If anyone is interested, whether it's for general inquiries or if they have potential connections or interests in the wind industry, chemicals industry, or insurance market—anyone who sees an opportunity to contribute and be a part of our journey—I'm more than happy to have a conversation.

How difficult is it right now to be a start-up in Israel?

Our work addresses a truly global problem, positioning us not just within the Israeli market, but in a global ecosystem.

While the current start-up climate in Israel is undeniably challenging, with less available capital, decreased valuations and a degree of interference with day-to-day business due to political and security developments, this environment also breeds resilience.

History has shown that some of the most impactful companies emerge from difficult times. We view these challenges as temporary hurdles. We're determined to thrive, prove our value proposition, and distinguish ourselves both locally and on the international stage.

Thanks Yuri for your time!          

Markus Sekulla

Author: Markus Sekulla

Hi, I'm Markus. I'm a freelance management consultant in the field of creative/digital communication. In my free and working time, which is not always clear-cut, I like to focus on new work, trends, gadgets and sustainable iedas. In my real free time, I'm quite a health freak: eat, run, sleep, repeat.

Markus Sekulla on LinkedIn

Further Readings

What is the Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator?

Interview with Strategic Programmes Builder Carla Erber (EIT Climate-KIC) 

PLENO: Streamlining carbon removal projects 

Interview with PLENO Co-Founder Nura Linggih 

NEG8 Carbon: Rapid scaling key to carbon removal

Interview with Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Adrian Costigan

Blue Carbon Tanzania: Restoring a part of the planet’s lungs

Interview with Debora Benjamen, the CEO and co-founder

Point2Hectare: Next gen fertilizer

Interview with Max Billinger, CEO and co-founder

ClimeRock: Making Earth Cooler Using Rocks

Interview with the founders Antoine Davy and Arthur Chabot

RubisCO2: Turning Algae into Natural Resources

Interview with Pablo Navarro Maldonado, CEO

Dowmann: “There is no waste – only resources in the wrong place”

Interview with Robert Dowdall, Technical Director

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