Transforming  carbon

towards a smaller carbon footprint

In 2010, the global steel industry consumed around 800 million tonnes of various types of coke and char to produce 1.5 billion tonnes of steel. In doing so, the steel industry is responsible for nearly 8% of global carbon emissions. There is increasing pressure on the world’s steel industry to improve their performance and lower their carbon footprint.

Across most of the steel industry, readily accessible coking coal is commonly used to provide the carbon during production. In nations with lots of biomass and limited fossil fuels – such as Brazil – charcoal is often used as an alternative in the steel making process, though the charcoal itself tends to be of a low grade and produced with inefficient technology. Either way, the dirty carbon results in a relatively poor grade of steel. Substituting fossil fuels with renewable, high-purity carbon has an immediate commercial benefit for the steel industry: a high-quality product.


CarbonScape’s ‘green’ coke is cost-competitive compared to fossil fuel derived carbons particularly because of the valuable chemical by-products and energy that can be recycled during the conversion process. CarbonScape's products are renewable, sustainable, inherently stable and chemically superior to coking coal derivatives. The large iron and steel plants in Asia are an obvious market for CarbonScape’s technology. Recently, we signed a contract with New Zealand Steel and are receiving on-going technical support.


The steel industry represents not only a massive financial opportunity but also the opportunity to make a positive environmental impact. One tonne of CarbonScape’s high-grade Green Coke (made up of at least 85% elemental carbon) offsets the equivalent of 3.10 tonnes of fossil carbon dioxide emissions. If just 10% of the coke made from fossil fuel was substituted with CarbonScape’s premium renewable coke,  over 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would stay locked up each year.


Assuming an average CarbonScape plant capable of producing 50,000 tonnes of Green Coke per year, and a global 10% penetration, the market for licensing our microwave technology is 150 plants.


The existing supply contract with NZ Steel for 9,000 tonnes per annum will generate some NZ$4.5m in revenue.

green coke

helping make a heavy industry greener

activated carbon

cleaning up

with a simple, fast and efficient process

The current  world market for Activated Carbon technology is vast with demand for granular and powdered carbon sitting at some 550,000 tonnes a year, and a total global value of US$1.1 billion. Each year , world demand for Activated Carbon is rising by around 5%.

Activated Carbon is a form of charcoal that has a very large surface area, with every gram made up at least 500 square meters. Using our patented microwave technology, CarbonScape has now successfully begun producing high quality Activated Carbon with more than 1600 square meters per gram...and all from cheap, waste pine sawdust. Because this huge improvement in surface area is achieved in a simple, fast and efficient process, CarbonScape’s technology is working hard to replace the slow and complex traditional processes.


Activated Carbon comes in different classes with a host of uses:

1. Powdered Activated Carbon (sometimes shortened to PAC) is  used for purification, de-odourizing and de-colouring foods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and municipal waste water treatment.


2. Granular Activated Carbon (also known as GAC) is similarly used in wastewater treatment for colour and odour removal, groundwater remediation and the purification of food, chemicals and beverages.


3. Extruded Activated Carbon (or EAC) is widely used for air purification, removal of halogens and solvents, air-conditioning, gas masks, controlling carbon dioxide levels during fruit storage, and the de-oiling of compressed gas.


Activated Carbon is also applied during gold purification, metal extraction, agriculture, and cleaning radioactively contaminated liquids and gases in the nuclear industry.


With game changing microwave technology, CarbonScape is in a prime position to exploit the current market and its continued growth.

New oils and fuels

From perfumes to jet planes

Bio-oil is ash free and has a massive market value due to its relative ease of use in existing natural gas and diesel fuelled boilers, with only small adjustments required in  turbines to generate electricity.

chemicals and gas

introducing the team

a wealth of industrial and scientific experience

CarbonScape's directors are ably supported by a brilliant team of engineers, scientists and business advisers.


Do contact us if you would like to learn more.

the team

Tim Langley


Chairman of CarbonScape Holdings and Executive Director of CarbonScape, Tim Langley is a human services professional and clean tech investor with considerable experience in senior management, strategic leadership and corporate governance in New Zealand and Australia. A founding director of the CarbonScape Group, Tim is responsible for the overall strategic direction of CarbonScape and focuses on working closely with the company’s clients, staff and stakeholders.

Ben Chen

Director of CarbonScape and CarbonScape Holdings, Dr Ben Chen of Ignatius Capital in San Francisco has made a distinguished career in the global biotech industry with two biotech start-ups, an IPO and acquisitions. Ben was previously Managing Director – Merchant Banking at Burrill & Company – a global life sciences investment firm, a director of Burrill Malaysia Life Sciences Fund, which has made significant multi-million dollar investments in the New Zealand clean tech industry and a founding member of the Burrill Greater China Group.

Suki Harding

Director of CarbonScape, Dr. Suki Harding has over 25 years of international business, technology investment and strategic leadership experience in New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. Her previous roles have included NZ Trade Commissioner Indonesia and Taiwan, Manager TechNZ and Director Commercialisation at the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology, General Manager Business Development & Commercialisation at Industrial Research Limited and General Manager Business Development at e-commerce start-up SouthFresh Limited.  Suki has a BSc Honours (First Class in Chemistry) from Massey University, a PhD in Chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington, and a MBA from Victoria University of Wellington. She also completed the Entrepreneurship Development Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Oliver Foster

Chief Executive Officer at CarbonScape, Oliver has over 17 years experience as a petroleum geologist, resources analyst and in corporate finance. Oliver's oilfield experience was gained working as a petroleum geologist on various exploration and production rigs offshore Australia and Asia. Following this he spent 10 years as an oil and gas analyst and Executive Director of a boutique Australian natural resources investment bank before moving into energy corporate finance.  Oliver has significant experience in analyzing, marketing and raising equity for various ASX energy companies, raising more than $1bn in new equity in his period as an analyst. Oliver holds a BSc. Geology (UWA) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment with the Securities Institute of Australia (SIA, now FINSIA).


Gary Hook

Gary is an Advisor to CarbonScape and began his 36 year corporate career graduating as an industrial chemist with NZ Steel. He quickly moved into technical roles in manufacturing then up through management/general management/country management roles spanning steel manufacturing, minerals mining and building and construction marketing. A career manager with BlueScope Steel (formerly BHP Steel and New Zealand Steel), he has specific experience in business leadership & governance in multinational settings given senior management roles in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Pacific Islands region. Gary retired from his corporate career in 2013 to take up a private consultancy. He was appointed CEO of Metals NZ in late 2013.

Chris Turney

Co-Founder, Inventor and Advisor to CarbonScape,  Chris Turney is a Professor of Earth Sciences and Climate Change and former Laureate Fellow at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. In 2009 Chris received the Geological Society of London’s Bigsby Medal for services to geology and in 2014, the Australian Academy of Science announced he was the recipient of the Frederick White Prize for research of intrinsic scientific merit for the understanding of natural phenomena. Chris is an international specialist in elemental carbon and a founding director of the CarbonScape Group. To learn more, visit christurney.com.

Ian Miller

Lead Science Advisor to CarbonScape, Dr. Ian Miller is the owner of Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand and lead science advisor to CarbonScape. With a PhD in Chemistry, Ian had a senior role in the Chemistry division, DSIR up to 1986, when he left to set up Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd. Ian has over one hundred peer reviewed scientific papers and patent applications in the field of high temperature/high pressure biomass conversions.

John Abrahamson

Professor John Abrahamson of the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand has an ME in Chemistry and a PhD in Chemical Engineering. John is an Advisor to CarbonScape with over 30 years’ experience in the development of advanced carbon materials, continuous process arc reactors and plasma sources. John is one of the founders and a principal of the innovative carbon fibre electrode start-up, ArcActive Ltd.

CarbonScape's technology can be tuned to maximise the production of bio-oils and syngas. Bio-oils take the form of a viscous dark brown liquid similar in appearance to crude oil. But the big difference to fossil fuels is that bio-oils are not  pure hydrocarbons because of their relatively high oxygen content, making them distinctly different to petroleum products. In parallel with this, CarbonScape's technology can also generate syngas, a collection of gases that includes hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide that can be combusted in a gas turbine engine to produce electricity, just like natural gas.


Carbonscape’s bio-oils and fine chemicals are targeted towards end uses such as heating, high grade pharmaceutical products and cosmetics. Bio-oil heating is worth over US$500m in the USA and Europe. The end uses for pharmaceutical products and cosmetics have a combined market value of more than US$900m in the USA  and Europe. And bio-oil as an alternative fuel is currently worth more than US$1.4billion globally.


Alongside this, bio-jet fuels are currently used on a demonstration basis by airlines. The potential certification for airplanes to fly on 100% biomass-to-liquid bio-jet fuel could be issued in the near future, highlighting

another potential market for the product.


The main targeted uses of CarbonScape syngas are as an alternative fuel and in the chemical process industry. The market for syngas as a process component is worth over    US$210m in the USA and Europe. As an alternative fuel, syngas is valued at over US$400m.

in the news

CarbonScape is regularly reported in the world news

Below is just a small selection of the many blogs, newspaper and magazine articles written about CarbonScape.


Marlborough company CarbonScape to trial treatment of Auckland's water. Stuff, 2 May 2016.


Using Nature to help build a green economy.  The RSA, 4 August 2015.


Carbonscape locks down minimum $400,000 in crowdfunding. NBR, 17 November 2014.


Microwaves turn wood waste to high-value carbon. 3News, 2 November 2014.


Crowdfunding plan for green coke scheme. Stuff, 24 October 2014.


Black is the new green. New Zealand Listener, 18 April 2013.


Clean-tech firm lands NZ Steel contract. New Zealand Herald Business, 18 February 2013.


CarbonScape cleans up at global green contest. Biotechnology Learning Hub, 6 December 2012.


Marlborough clean-tech firm attracts investment. The Dominion, 29 May 2012.


An Optimists Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson, 2011.

CarbonScape cracks one-step production of Activated Carbon from waste. Scoop, 7 December 2010.


Zap the trees to reduce carbon. The Sunday Times, 24 January 2010.

Download PDF (2.7MB)


The new David Livingstone. The Saturday Times, 5 December 2009. Download PDF (414KB)


Finalist in the Financial Times Climate Change Challenge. The Financial Times, 9 April 2009.


‘Biochar’ goes industrial with giant microwaves to lock carbon in charcoal. The Guardian, 13 March 2009.


Carbon hopes push case for charcoal. The Australian, 11 March 2009.