Climate technology company Levidian Nanosystems, which specialises in world-first decarbonisation technology and the production of supermaterial graphene, has secured a £12 million investment from US energy technology giant Baker Hughes.
The new investment will enable Levidian to scale operations and continue to develop its LOOP technology and graphene production at its facilities in Cambridge, UK. The news comes after the British technology company announced a partnership with leading yacht brokerage firm Edmiston in May.
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LOOP technology enables methane to be "cracked" into its components, producing clean hydrogen and a material called graphene in the process. Both of these materials have huge potential for the yachting industry, according to John Hartley, Levidian’s chief executive, who has said that it will offer the opportunity to "rapidly decarbonise some of the heavy industries that are behind the yachts we see today.”
Graphene in particular will be an “important part of decarbonising the maritime sector.” At just one atom thick, it is the thinnest material on the planet but it is around 200 times stronger than steel. Potential applications include battery technology, paints and coatings and desalination systems.
Shipyards can also reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 40 per cent by switching from natural gases to the clean hydrogen-rich blend that LOOP creates on site. As well as its primary function, LOOP has the benefit of integrating seamlessly within the existing infrastructure to help the yachting supply chain on its journey to decarbonisation.
Speaking on the new funding, Hartley said: "This investment comes at a critical phase of Levidian’s development. Baker Hughes has a long track record in energy technology and their expertise will be valuable as we scale Levidian quickly to meet the growing demand for decarbonisation, especially from the industrial sectors. Their commitment is a strong endorsement of our LOOP technology, our graphene, and our team."
Luca Maria Rossi, vice president of new frontiers at Baker Hughes, called graphene a "game-changing" material. "We continue to show our commitment to advancing our climate goals by investing in innovative technologies. Graphene is a game-changing material for many applications and Levidian’s technology stands out with its consistent high-quality product. The joint production of graphene and hydrogen will also enable economically effective decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors."
Maria Rossi will now sit on the board of directors, alongside Jamie Edmiston, chief executive of Edmiston, who also acts as chairman.
“When I was first introduced to Levidian in 2020, I was hugely impressed with the technology and the team behind it,” said Edmiston. “There are clear applications for Levidian’s technology in the maritime sector, and we look forward to working with Levidian as Edmiston works forward towards net zero.”