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Carbon Bridge

Replacing bunker fuel with microbial methanol


Sophia Xu

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Manu Pillai

Founder & CEO

Bill Koutny

Principal Engineer

Company details

Maritime shipping, aviation, and trucking will account for at least a tenth of global CO2 emissions by 2030 and cannot be electrified anytime soon. To meet EU emissions standards, cargo operators are already ordering methanol-powered ships. However, green methanol is currently produced using energy-intensive processes, resulting in a greenish fuel that can’t compete with oil on price—which is key to rapid adoption.

CarbonBridge is developing a low-heat, low-pressure microbial process that upcycles carbon dioxide and methane into liquid methanol using a patent-pending bioreactor. Here’s the kicker: CarbonBridge can source those gasses inexpensively from over 16,000 US wastewater treatment facilities that normally burn them off. Easily stored and transported with existing fuel infrastructure, methanol can also be upgraded into aviation fuel, diesel, and plastics like polyurethane.

CarbonBridge was founded by entrepreneur Manu Pillai, engineer William Koutny, and biologist Sophia Xu. The company will decarbonize heavy transportation starting in 2025 by unlocking energy from plentiful wastewater feeds.

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