It takes 20 years or more to develop deep technology from lab to industrial scale, and we are well into that journey.
In 2006 two Canberra entrepreneurs Marcus Dawe and John Beever came together with a big audacious question. The first IPCC report was released and firmly identified CO2 emissions as a root cause of our rapidly climate change. They asked "What can we do with CO2?". How could we turn around our thinking about CO2 emissions as a waste emission to where it could be used as a resource. The fossil fuels industries had already chosen CCS or geosequestration as their primary solution but Marcus and John were convinced that a range of solutions were needed to be developed to address the major global challenge of emissions reduction ahead of us.
GreenMag Group formed
After investigation of other possible solutions, the came across mineral carbonation. This involves locking CO2 into rocks permanently and it looked the most promising for scale and applicability. The science of mineral carbonation had only recently started at Los Alamos by the US DoE with further initial lab experiments performed at NETL Labs in early 2000s.
Marcus and John founded GreenMag Group with a group of Canberra investors to fund the R&D pathway to develop the technology from lab to the first Global Reference Pilot Plant to assess the scaling and techno-economic feasibility of the technology. After 6 years of self-funding university R&D they advanced their ambitious plans with a solid plan, grant funding and a consortium of partners.
MCi created and funded
MCi was founded in 2013 by GreenMag Group and Orica Ltd who through their lead researcher Dr. Geoff Brent had also been conducting independent research into mineral carbonation since 2006. They merged their technology programs together into MCi to advance their efforts through an Australian Government's funded pilot program. Geoff became MCi's Chief Scientist. Sophia Hamblin Wang was lured away from her PhD at ANU by Marcus to became our first employee as our COO to deliver the technology program.
From 2013-2017, the Australian Commonwealth and NSW Governments committed $6.08M in grants to the MCi pilot program following public funding processes which were matched by Orica Ltd as the industry investor. MCi delivered 25 continuous quarters of milestone led R&D to deliver this world first Mineral Carbonation Pilot Plant in Newcastle. The 14 R&D programs supporting the plant were done in collaboration with Orica, University of Newcastle, University of Sydney and Columbia University.
In 2017 MCi won further Commonwealth Government funding towards a $8.3M program to advance the pilot program towards industrial applications by simulating both pure and dilute CO2 capture potential for use in cement, steel, hydrogen and hard to abate industries.
In 2019 MCi raised its first external capital from a group of sophisticated investors close to MCi to initiate its commercialisation for the following 2 years.
MCi unveilled its technology to the world and found considerable demand for its technology within many industrial sectors. It secured its first customers.
In 2021, MCi raised its first cornerstone industry investment from Itochu Corp. of Japan who also became MCi's Japanese partner to promote the technology in Japan.
In 2021 MCi secured a $14.6m grant from the Australian Commonwealth CCUS Development Fund to build its CCU Flagship - an industrial scale demonstration plant to be completed in 2023.
With solid techno-economics and a substantial portfolio of IP, MCi continues the commercialisation and scaling of its technology globally with industrial customers, investors and funders.
MCi's headquarters are in Canberra and its research and technical facilities are located at the Newcastle Institute for Energy Research (NIER) where it operates its technical and research programs.
MCi is a group of exceptional people. Our growing team of around 30 dedicated people have expertise in various fields from chemical engineering, industrial chemistry, materials science, geology, mining, finance, sustainability, management and environmental science.
Our story now continues as we showcase our technology in November 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow. Here for our first time we unveil our ambitious plan to decarbonise global industry by turning carbon emissions into value.
Significantly we won the title of No.1 Clean Energy Startup from a field of 2700 entrants globally which we accepted with pride knowing that our journey is 15 years in but much closer to achieving our mission.
MCi's clean technology sits firmly within a portfolio of carbon utilisation technologies that will ultimately be required to meet the Paris Agreement climate change targets.
MCi is invested as a pioneer in the field of carbon utilisation and are engaging with global partners and ESG funders towards advancing its commercialisation plans for the rollout of its Carbon Plants throughout the world.
MCi's goal is to build many industrial scale Carbon Plants by 2030 that would be capable of converting millions of tonnes of CO2 into negative carbon materials, for use by product manufacturers and construction companies. Importantly also creating high quality, permanent carbon offsets.
MCi recently completed its first significant round of capital raising to advance commercialisation and designing its first demonstration projects globally. We are approximately three to four years away from operating our first full-scale, commercial-ready industrial plants.
In 2007, MCi's co-founders create an investment company GreenMag Group to fund a six-year period of independent research into mineral carbonation with University of Newcastle researchers.
2013 - 2017
In 2013, MCi was established as a joint venture between the Canberra-based GreenMag Group, the University of Newcastle and Orica. From this period onward, MCi received the consistent funding and support of Australian governments at the State and Federal level, along with industry partners in a range of sectors. This accelerated the development of our $9.12M pilot plant.
2019 - 2020
In 2019, MCi increased its Technical Readiness Level (TRL6) and continued to benefit from government support with a $8.3M CRC-P project grant to integrate our plant technology with any industrial source of CO2. MCi has completed its first round of capital raising and is currently focused on commercialisation as a strategic priority. MCi is approximately four to five years away from operating our first full-scale, commercial-ready industrial plant.
So far in 2021, MCi has received continued recognition from both industry and government organisations for its specialised carbon capture technology and support from MCi's investors and stakeholders has helped to place MCi as a specialised world-leading carbon capture organisation. In June this year we were announced as the second largest recipient of the Australian Government's Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund.
The $14.6 million grant for the project titled ‘Australian CCU Flagship: Demonstrating decarbonisation for heavy industry’ will accelerate MCi’s technology that transforms CO2 emissions into valuable advanced manufacturing and consumer products.