Coca-Cola invests in air-to-sugar technology

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
Tuesday, 23 August, 2022

Coca-Cola invests in air-to-sugar technology

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced that it is collaborating, through its investment wing CCEP Ventures, with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to develop scalable methods and technology to convert CO2 from the air into sugar.

CCEP Ventures’ initial investment with UCB will support the Peidong Yang Research Group on foundational research which will focus on enabling the production of sugar from CO₂ onsite and at an industrial level, with expectation of future investments to drive scale — from lab to pilot phase.

The development of lab-scale prototypes could make the generation of essential raw and packaging materials more sustainable in the long term. It could reduce some of the largest CO₂ contributors in supply chains, while saving material, transportation and logistics costs.

The research and its funding are linked with CCEP’s commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

With agricultural ingredients, including sugar, amounting to approximately a quarter of CCEP’s overall carbon footprint, this technology could not only reduce emissions associated with sugar manufacturing processes but positively contribute to optimising land usage as less arable land becomes available due to global population growth.

In the longer term, the technology may also make the conversion of CO₂ into PET plastic more efficient by reducing the need for crude oil in the manufacturing process and lowering costs.

Craig Twyford, Head of CCEP Ventures at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, said: “At CCEP, we want to grow sustainably, producing beverages that people love while helping to build a better future for our business, communities and the planet.

“CCEP Ventures is helping us find solutions to industry challenges and provide funding to make these foundational technologies a reality. We’re excited to be involved in this project that could lead the industry in the development of transformational technology capable of converting CO2 into more complex, usable goods.”

Prof. Peidong Yang at the University of California, Berkeley said: “Air to sugar conversion could significantly impact our ability to preserve the natural world. This is a bold scientific vision that would bring immediate environmental benefits, fundamentally transforming the production and distribution of goods across the world. We are pleased to be working with CCEP Ventures on research that could make a significant impact on our ability to create a more sustainable future.”

Top image caption: iStock.com/Nitiphonphat

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