Announcing the recipients of our 2022 carbon capture research funding!

Posted By on Nov 30, 2022

At Boomerang, we are fortunate to be able to give a portion of our profits to help make the world a better place. This Giving Tuesday, I am thrilled to announce that we are not only increasing the amount of our donations for carbon capture research but we’re also donating to help build much needed schools for Burmese refugee children.

One of my favorite things I get to do as the CEO of Boomerang is reading the proposals we get for our annual climate donation. Every year, we’ve received a number of incredibly promising proposals, and they make me feel optimistic and excited about the future. This year was the best year yet, with so many projects that are deserving of funding. 

Without further ado, I would like to announce that our 2022 annual climate tech donation of $50,000 will be supporting Professor Maria Maldonado of University of California Davis on her research into the respiratory proteins of giant kelp to develop respiration-based strategies to enhance net carbon capture. We continue to believe that sea-focused carbon capture is under-studied and under-funded, and this grant will go to study an area that seems under-studied and under-funded even among sea projects. Most carbon research in seaweeds are directed toward increasing the amount of carbon drawn in during photosynthesis. But at night, when the sunlight stops shining, plants consume the sugars they produced during the day and re-release some of the stored carbon into the environment. Professor Maldonado will use this grant to study “respiration” instead of “fixation” which (we hope!) will result in greater net carbon capture. 

Since it was so hard to decide among the projects, we decided to add a bonus donation this year to an additional project. We are donating $30,000 to Professor John Coates’ Lab at University of California Berkeley. His proposal involves working on making bioplastics cheaper to manufacture by adapting a species of bacteria to convert methane into bioplastic polymers using perchlorate respiration instead of oxygen respiration. We are incredibly excited about this opportunity for two reasons – first, methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so studying ways to use it instead of releasing it into the atmosphere goes a long way. Second, if the research develops a scalable solution, it will make bioplastic more cost-competitive against petroleum-sourced plastic, which means that there will be a profit motive for capturing this methane. Win-win-win! 

We are rounding out the rest of our 2022 Giving Tuesday by continuing to support Build a School in Burma and various open source tech organizations as we have before. If you want to learn more about why and how we (a small but mighty tech company) started doing these donations or what projects we have supported in the past, please check out last year’s post.

Finally, if you find yourself in a position to support early-stage research on promising, under-studied areas of carbon capture this year, please reach out to us! We have 4 additional projects that we think are highly deserving of funding as well, and we’d love to introduce you!

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