Bill Gates-led fund backs Robert Friedland’s pulse technology to reduce carbon emissions at mines

Gates’ Breakthrough Energy’s efforts include investment vehicles, philanthropic programs, policy advocacy, and other initiatives, such as Catalyst. (Image courtesy of World Economic Forum | Photo by Moritz Hager.)

A climate fund founded by Bill Gates is investing in technology that uses surges of electricity to shatter rocks and mineral ores in a bid to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions at mines.

A European fund tied to Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures invested €12 million ($12.3 million) in the I-ROX pulsed-power venture with Robert Friedland’s I-Pulse Inc.

The technology is based on short, high-intensity bursts of power to streamline crushing and grinding processes that today make up the most energy-intensive and expensive part of mining.

That would help producers of metals like copper and nickel achieve carbon-reduction targets, thereby boosting industry efforts to gain acceptance for expansions to meet growing demand in the transition away from fossil fuels.

(By James Attwood)

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