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19 September, 2023 - 17:54 By Tony Quested

Immaterial cleans up with Series A cash to build manufacturing demo plant

University of Cambridge spin-out Immaterial Ltd has completed an undisclosed Series A funding round – just days after winning a major category of the Business Weekly Awards.

The Cambridge Science Park company won the Cambridge Judge Business School’s Graduate Business of the Year Award, although judges and sponsors were unaware when making their decision that the further cash boost had been secured.

Immaterial is focused on decarbonising the world and enabling the energy transition with its advanced materials and systems design for carbon capture from point source and efficient low-cost innovative hydrogen storage. 

The investment round was led by SLB, with participation from AP Ventures, Cepsa, Chevron Technology Ventures, Energy Revolution Ventures, JERA Co., TRIREC and Ultratech Capital Partners, and existing investors including long-term investor and Chairman of Immaterial Ltd, Jogchum Brinksma.

This funding marks a crucial milestone for Immaterial by enabling the building of a manufacturing demonstration plant to supply large quantities of monolithic materials for customer-based demonstrators (carbon capture and hydrogen storage). 

The pivotal facility will support a production capacity of multi-tonnes per annum and enable advanced testing of materials to accelerate the deployment of enhanced process systems for carbon capture and hydrogen storage. 

This strategic enhancement is poised to accelerate the progression of Immaterial’s solution design and materials supply capabilities.

Immaterial is now laser-focused on delivering its inaugural carbon capture and hydrogen storage demonstrators to collaborating partners’ sites. With 40 billion tonnes of CO2 to abate by 2050 and 30 per cent of the global greenhouse gases emitted by hard-to-abate industries, Immaterial is focused on making carbon capture economically viable for industrial customers. 

The company aims to design the lowest-cost and easiest-to-integrate solution and turn it into a sustainable and profitable endeavour with significantly lower capital and operating costs, making a material contribution to the global environment and unlocking substantial value for its customers.

In support of the developing green hydrogen economy, which requires an efficient hydrogen infrastructure, Immaterial is also tackling the challenge of affordable and spatially efficient intermittent green hydrogen storage. 

The company aspires to revolutionise this landscape by delivering the industry’s safest, most cost-effective, and space-saving hydrogen storage solution with advanced materials that store multiples of volume of hydrogen at lower pressure compared with current technologies, unlocking capital and operating cost benefits for customers.

The proposition is enabled by Immaterial’s unique patented technology: monolithic metal-organic frameworks (m-MOFs), a customisable porous material that can selectively adsorb and release any target gas in the smallest footprint. m-MOFs are part of a broader family of materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). 

Despite the growing attention MOFs have attracted, their commercialisation has been hampered by their delicate powdery form, which loses significant performance once traditionally shaped.

Immaterial is the only company in the world that can produce MOFs as monoliths: macroscopic, ultra-dense crystals of MOFs that are thermally and chemically stable and preserve their ultra-high storage performance. 

Professor David Fairen-Jimenez, Chief Scientific Officer and founder of Immaterial, said: “It is a special moment for me to realise the next phase of Immaterial’s journey, from pure academic ideas to products that solve timely challenges, such as climate change.

“The confidence of our new investors in the technology is a testament to the potential of monolithic materials and I am thrilled in making an impact with a Cambridge, UK, developed technology.”

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