Susteon co-founder and president Dr. Raghubir Gupta was invited to speak alongside U.S. Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in a press conference on July 26, 2021. The virtual call highlighted DOE’s selection of Susteon for a $1.6 million SBIR Phase II award, enabling Susteon to further develop its dual functional material (DFM) technology for direct air capture of carbon dioxide. The full press call (15 min) is below:


Rep. Deborah Ross organized the press event and delivered opening remarks recognizing the critical work of start-ups and small businesses in advancing clean energy and carbon management technology, including Susteon, which is based in Cary and represented by Ross in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. Ross praised the hard work from Dr. Gupta, co-founder Shantanu Agarwal, and the team at Susteon, and emphasized the critical role of the DOE grant in more quickly scaling up the DFM-DAC technology and preparing it for commercial deployment.

“Susteon is doing groundbreaking work developing CO2 direct air capture technology,” said Congresswoman Ross. “Modern direct air capture technologies have high operating costs that prevent them from being economically feasible. Susteon has been working to change that with their novel technology that directly integrates renewable sources of electricity and doesn’t require new manufacturing or special material supply chains for scale-up. If successful, this technology could result in greater than 20% reduction in overall cost compared to current technologies.”

Secretary Jennifer Granholm described the dire need for new technologies to combat climate change and commented on Susteon’s contributions to carbon capture innovation. “Dr. Gupta and his team at Susteon, as the Congresswoman mentioned, they’re really helping America reach our net-zero future, through their work developing this direct air capture technology,” said Secretary Granholm. “… Their success would be an absolute game-changer for climate action. It would help us to create jobs that today’s fossil energy workers could jump right into.” The Secretary then introduced Dr. Gupta to deliver several minutes of remarks on the award.

“The funding we have received today from the Department of Energy has reinforced our mission at Susteon to become an emerging U.S. leader in climate technology,” said Dr. Gupta. “We are very grateful to DOE, not only for strong support of Susteon, but for its long-standing vision and track record of investment in entrepreneurs, companies, and universities, working on clean energy and carbon management, including the funding of a 1,000 ton per day CO2 capture plant which I led while at RTI International. Our current work builds upon a generation of breakthroughs that would not have been possible without DOE investment.”

As the call concluded, Rep. Ross thanked the participants again and ended by saying, “Dr. Gupta, we are gonna come visit!” The virtual press conference was picked up by local television station Spectrum News 1, which aired a 1-min segment describing Susteon as a Cary-based small business working to capture carbon dioxide from air and convert it into renewable natural gas.

To learn more about the DFM-DAC technology at the center of this SBIR Phase II award and about Susteon’s other technologies, visit the Projects page.