CCEP Ventures to develop technology to convert air to sugar

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced a collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to develop scalable methods of converting air CO2 into sugar.

The collaboration is through the business’ innovation investment platform CCEP Ventures, which looks for transformative solutions to industry challenges that will support CCEP on its journey to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Its 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 on site 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.

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 this 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 significantly lowering costs.

Craig Twyford, Head of CCEP Ventures, said that CCEP wants to grow sustainably, producing beverages that people love while helping to build a better future for 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.”

Professor Peidong Yang at UCB, said that 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.”

The Peidong Yang Group at UCB also received a prize from NASA for a viable prototype for conversion of CO₂ to sugar for potential use on long-haul space missions.

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