Emergy is developing a novel biofabrication process to produce higher performing and longer lasting activated carbon materials, sustainably and at scale.  Activated carbon is one of the most widely used materials in our economy, playing an important role in water and air filtration, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and energy storage and generation; with a market value of around $5 billion in the US alone.  Activated carbon has an extremely high surface area and functions like an industrial sponge, removing unwanted contaminants from a given stream.  However, conventional manufacturing processes involve the mining or harvesting of feedstock, such as coal or coconut husks, followed by harsh and energy intensive top-down post processing.  This results in limited material performance and unsustainable environmental impact, ultimately passing down inefficiency and higher costs to the end-user. 

Emergy has developed a process to cultivate a biological feedstock in controlled environmental conditions to tune both the chemical and physical properties of the final carbon material from the onset.   This allows for scaled production, on-site and on-demand with the ability to use a variety of low cost waste-streams as feedstock.  This bottom-up bioengineered approach results in a customized material with higher efficiencies in a targeted application, reduced cost, and an improved user experience.  The technology has been demonstrated at the lab scale and is currently under pilot development at Argonne National Labs.  Emergy has invested over $1.2 million of non-diluted capital and has one year of financial runway while operating under an exclusive license from University of Colorado Boulder.