Food waste, wastewater and the UK’s struggling battery industry • TechCrunch

Welcome back, climate tech readers! Alike last weekagain we have the full range of facilities, from food waste to sewage, etc. Let’s dive in.

Food is disposed of in the Mill food waste bin.

Image credits: Industrial Mill

Afterward sell Nest to Google at $3.2 billion, Matt Rogers is no stranger to scaling rapidly. But unlike last time, Rogers wasn’t interested in selling too quickly. “This is the next 20 years of my life. This is not like building a company in 4 or 5 years and selling to Google. This has been a big and long journey,” he told TechCrunch.

Rogers is on a mission to end food waste, which accounts for between 6% and 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions, and his tool for getting there is the humble kitchen trash can. Mill Industries bins are sleek and tech-powered, dehydrating and grinding food until it looks like dry coffee grounds. Then, when it’s full, it automatically requests a box to send the dried leftovers to one of Mill’s facilities, where it’s turned into chicken feed. How does it achieve that? That part Rogers was most surprised.

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Heavy metal band Pantera performs on stage during 'Knotfest Colombia 2022

Image credits: Picture of Guillermo Legaria Schweizer/Getty

Industrial facilities from semiconductor factories to car factories use incredible amounts of water. What comes out of the other end can be difficult to handle and even harder to reuse. That’s why Membrion has developed a ceramic membrane that can filter out heavy metals like lead, arsenic and lithium. Entrepreneurship is $7 million into Series B which it hopes will bring in another $3 million.

Britishvolt is always a long way off, but the battery start-up seems to have completely missed its mark. This week, it declared bankruptcy, after making little progress on a plan to build a $4.7 billion gigafactory.

The company’s demise echoes what happened in the US more than a decade ago when A123 Systems stumbled and went bankrupt on its own. But the British version of the story may not have a happy ending. With the A123, the US had time to cover. With the consolidation of the global battery supply chain, UK’s domestic battery industry may never catch up.

The MOXIE device is being installed on NASA's Perseverance rover.

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The space programs pride themselves on developing cutting-edge technologies to prove their worth here on Earth. Apollo helped launch computers and the Space Shuttle did wonders for avionics and materials science. Now it’s Mars rover Perseverance’s turn.

The MOXIE experiment was built to demonstrate that carbon dioxide can be turned into oxygen on Mars. Chris Graves, who worked on the device, thought it could help take advantage of carbon dioxide on Earth, so he founded Noon Energy. The company’s carbon-oxygen batteries promise to store electricity for a long time at a relatively low cost. The startup announced a Series A worth $28 million this week.

HVAC technician installs modern large heat pump

Image credits: beautiful pictures

Heat pumps and home energy retrofits have received a lot of attention due to the incentives included in the Inflation Reduction Act. That makes this a good time to be Sealed. The company predicts how much energy the retrofit will save and converts to initial installation costs, billing homeowners based on the savings.

For a company that relies so heavily on data, Sealed’s acquisition of Burlington, Vermont-based InfiSense make, well, mean. Neither company has disclosed the terms of the deal. Closed plans for providing, though optional, InfiSense sensors for customers to monitor both energy usage and indoor air quality.

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