Ep.#50 Using naturally occurring minerals for direct air capture. Meet Noah McQueen.
Play • 51 min

Noah understands that DAC is not only necessary to counteract climate

change, but is an important tool for carbon-producing countries to take

responsibility for their emissions.

Ep.#50 Noah McQueen, Co-Founder and Head of Research at Heirloom

Tech4Climate Podcast by Startup Basecamp

PART 1: Meet the founder: Noah McQueen, Co-Founder and Head of Research

at Heirloom

During this new episode of our Founder Series, we are sitting down with

Noah McQueen, Co-Founder and Head of Research at Heirloom. The DAC

technology developed by Heirloom enhances a natural process called

carbon mineralization, which helps minerals absorb CO2 from the ambient

air in days rather than years. By combining the best of engineering and

nature, Heirloom can offer the most cost-effective and scalable Direct

Air Capture solution in the world.

I was very much looking forward to speaking with Noah, whose academic

background in chemical engineering provided valuable insight into the

Direct Air Capture landscape. Noah has long been an activist and is

primarily motivated by advocacy through a social justice lens, beginning

with working for several years with LGBTQ+ students in STEM. During

their PhD studies, Noah concentrated on DAC technology but realized the

huge gap between the science on an academic level and the need to

commercialize these technologies, a realization that coincided with

meeting their co-founder and starting Heirloom.

In this episode, Noah helps us visualize Heirloom’s direct air capture

process, what minerals they use, and how they plan to scale their

technology to reach 1 billion tons of CO2 captured by 2035. Not only

that, but Noah explains the regulatory landscape and how we need to

create a sustainable global carbon market, so that we grow compliance

markets to match voluntary markets. Above all, Noah provides a detailed

explanation not only of how to implement direct air capture, but also

why it is critical for climate equity and justice.

PART 2: My secret sauce: (AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS ONLY - More info on our


During the second part of the talk, Noah offers a few tips for

fundraising, specific for non-software companies, and how they have

successfully onboarded big names like Stripe or Wise. Noah also explains

how they manage a work-life balance as co-founder, and what they read,

and do to take time off.


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