Element Zero, a green materials platform company, announced today that it has raised $10 million in seed funding, with proceeds to be used to scale up its platform aimed at decarbonizing iron and other critical metals production.
Founded in 2022, Element Zero offers a cost effective and efficient platform for the conversion of iron ore and other metals into their pure metal form with zero carbon emissions, using a non-aqueous electrochemical process to process the full spectrum of iron ores at a lower temperature that can run on intermittent renewables like wind, solar, and hydropower. The company said that it uses 30-40% less energy per ton of iron than coal and gas-based processes, without the CO2. Steelmaking is one of the biggest emitters of CO2 globally, and one of the more challenging sectors to abate, with total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the sector accounting for 7% – 9% of direct emissions from the global use of fossil fuels.
Based in Perth and the north of Western Australia, adjacent to ports responsible for nearly 55% of the world’s seaborne iron ore supply, Element Zero plans to develop five million tons per year of iron ore feed, producing around 2.7 million tons of high purity iron.
The company said that it will use the new funding to grow its R&D engineering, and project development teams and scale the development of a pilot iron plant.
Michael Masterman, Founder and CEO of Element Zero said:
“Our processing platform will, for the first time, allow cost-effective and scalable production of carbon-free metals crucial to the iron and steel and critical metals industries. We are excited to have Playground Global join our journey to tackle the decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors. Support from Playground Global goes way beyond financial investment, and we are already in deep discussions about developing green iron and green silicon value chains in the U.S. We are also working with major iron ore miners and iron and steel companies globally.”
The funding round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Playground Global. Peter Barrett, Co-Founder and General Partner at Playground Global, has joined the company’s board of directors.
“Element Zero will help transform Western Australia from the world’s mine into the world’s foundry, dramatically reducing carbon emissions in the process. Australia is poised to become a leader in resilient and sustainable global prosperity – its natural wealth in minerals and renewable energy blended with innovation in electrochemistry and new materials will cement its leadership in the energy transformation. Element Zero is a major catalyst in this shift and the Pilbara region in the north of Western Australia stands as the premier location globally to showcase the company’s potential.”