In episode 91 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, I speak with Ryan Shearman, co-founder of Aether Diamonds on capturing harmful CO2 from the atmosphere to create the world’s first carbon-negative diamonds, alchemized from air.
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Ryan Shearman is a serial entrepreneur who has spent the past decade innovating across a range of consumer and B2B verticals. In addition to his role as an operator, he advises and invests in high growth tech startups.
He has made it his life’s work to combat global climate change through the development and commercialization of environmentally advantaged manufacturing technologies.
In 2018, Ryan co-founded Aether Diamonds, a public benefit corporation that extracts harmful CO2 from the atmosphere and transforms it into valuable raw materials and consumer products.
They unveiled the world’s first and only carbon-negative diamonds made 100% from air in December 2020. The company aims to extract 100 million tonnes of CO2 from the air over the next ten years.
How are the carbon-negative Aether Diamonds created?
Carbon capture technology is a process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This can be done through different methods such as planting trees, using carbon capture and storage devices, or by direct air capture.
Direct air capture technology involves using a machine to suck in air and then filter out the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide can then be stored and sequestered or used in other ways like creating diamonds, flooring, physical products and even vodka!
Direct air capture (DAC) is a process of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground. DAC can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
- Atmospheric collectors pull carbon dioxide air pollution straight out of the sky. As the air is drawn in, the CO2 is captured in a special filter. The companies first-of-its-kind diamond alchemization process is set into beautiful motion. For every 1 carat diamond, they remove 20 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
- The captured CO2 is then synthesized into a usable hydrocarbon raw material perfect for growing diamonds. All other lab-grown diamonds use carbon that is sourced from fossil fuels through oil drilling and fracking. Aether Diamonds is proud to be the world’s first diamond to use carbon from a source that isn’t from the earth.
- The hydrocarbon raw materials are placed into powerful reactors that create the optimal environment for growing a diamond. The diamonds grow one ambitious atom at a time, as the carbon perfectly aligns into crystalline form. All the energy used to power the growth of our creations is from clean, sustainable sources.
- The growing process continues for 3-4 weeks until the exact moment when it’s reached peak perfection. The rough diamonds are then sent to our expert craftspeople to cut, polish, and set them into jewelry by hand.
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Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 700+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.