A transformational year for CMS and CCUS: Scaling up membrane production, new partnerships, field rigs... and more.

A transformational year for CMS and CCUS: Scaling up membrane production, new partnerships, field rigs... and more.

2023 was transformational for the world and CMS

The world experienced the hottest year on record, for the first time exceeding the Paris Agreement 1.5 degrees Celsius target. Taking action to address climate change is more critical than ever, and 2023 saw governments and industry take significant steps in the right direction. From the European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) placing a carbon fee on high carbon intensity products, to increases in Canada’s Clean Investment Tax Credits, new regulations provided the certainty the markets need to scale up decarbonization investments, and we saw an increase in customers coming to us with concrete decarbonization plans.

No longer called “hard-to-abate”, the pressure is on industry to decarbonize

This past year saw increasing attention focused on the challenge of decarbonizing heavy industry. The term “hard-to-abate” fell out of favor as new carbon capture technologies and funding mechanisms hold the promise to make the decarbonization of industries like steel and cement not only feasible, but inevitable. Here at Compact Membrane Systems (CMS), we saw an uptick in CCUS interest and projects across the board, a trend we saw mirrored at COP28 where The Global Stocktake included calls for accelerating zero-and low-emission technologies including Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) and where the UAE and Canada launched the Cement and Concrete Breakthrough Initiative.

Director of Carbon Solutions, Nic Renard, at the Global Future Cement Conference, where much of the conversation centered on the need for CCUS to decarbonize the cement industry.

Industry demands low-energy, deployable carbon capture solutions

At over 30 industry conferences and events and throughout our conversations with customers and partners, we saw growing momentum and urgency around decarbonization, with strategies focused not on the potential future deployment of exploratory technologies but on the immediate deployment of existing technologies. We validated growing demand for practical, low energy, small footprint solutions that reduce the cost of capture and can be easily integrated into existing operations, demands that our membrane solutions are well-positioned to meet.

CMS announced a carbon capture pilot with RHI Magnesita, a global producer of refractory materials, after meeting through the Verbund X accelerator. From left, Joshua Watson (CMS), Erica Nemser (CMS), Ken Loprete (CMS), Bianca Secklehner (RHIM), and Andreas Drescher (RHIM).

CMS enters the decarbonization arena

In 2023, we accelerated commercialization of our Optiperm™ platform to meet the growing demand for industrial carbon capture solutions. We reached several important milestones:

  • We announced three new partnerships to launch carbon capture pilots for key industry applications, including RHI Magnesita, a global producer of refractory materials, voestalpine, a major steel producer, and OMV, a leading petrochemical company. These pilots expand on our existing partnership with Braskem validating our tech platform in their production facility, and represent an important step in showcasing our technology's effectiveness in industrial environments.
  • We completed technical validation of scale up production: We scaled up module size by 100x in our membrane production facility and successfully validated performance with several partners and labs. We continue to show performance consistent with real capture costs below $100/ton for a number of applications.
  • We continued demonstration of our Optiperm™ Olefin solution. Our Olefins membranes continue to perform in our demonstration unit at Braskem, and have now accumulated over 8,000 hours of operation, validating the performance and stability of our Optiperm™ platform technology in the field.
Optiperm™ Olefins commercial demonstration unit at Braskem

CMS is evolving to prepare for commercial delivery

2023 saw CMS transform from a nimble R&D company into an innovative, high-growth enterprise, committed to delivering advanced membrane solutions to decarbonize heavy industry. As part of this transformation, we brought on new partners and team members to help us meet our goals.

  • We raised an oversubscribed $16.5M Series A round from world class investors: Led by Pangaea Ventures with participation from Chevron Technology Ventures, GC Ventures, Solvay Ventures, and Technip Energies, this funding will accelerate the development and commercialization of our olefins and carbon capture solutions, with the goal of delivering a low-cost, fully electrified solution by 2026.
  • We grew our team to bring new competencies to an amazing core of people. In 2023, we increased our team size by almost 50% expanding our experience and capabilities across the enterprise including  large scale coating and manufacturing, systems modeling, business development, and marketing. If you are seeing the impact and hearing more about us, that's why!
  • We are rebranding to Ardent. We will be unveiling our exciting new brand later this quarter. The new brand reflects our next chapter as an innovative, high-growth company, ardently committed to accelerating decarbonization and transforming the global industrial and energy landscape.
A sneak peek at our new brand, coming soon!

2024 promises to be an exciting year for CMS and the CCUS industry

Looking ahead, we’re excited to build on this year’s growth and continue commercializing our technology. We look forward to:

  • Seeing our carbon capture rigs go into the field with each of our pilot partners in early 2024. Stay tuned for updates on installation and performance.
  • Finishing demonstration of our Optiperm™ Olefin solution and beginning to design our commercial systems. Please reach out if you are interested in deploying our solution at your plant!
  • Scaling up production of modules to prepare for commercial launch.
  • Getting our message out at our upcoming slate of conferences, including Cleantech Forum, SPE International Polyolefins Conference, CERA Week, Ethylene Producers’ Conference (EPC), Decarb Connect, AISTech Technology Conference.
  • Welcoming more great talent – you can explore open roles at CMS here.

The world is awakening to the need for CCUS like never before, and we are here to deliver. While we are confident in our technology, ambitions, and team, I am keenly aware that no individual or enterprise succeeds alone. Thank you for your collaboration, partnership, guidance, assistance, advice, and camaraderie. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Looking forward to an outstanding and Ardent 2024.


Erica Nemser

Chief Executive Officer

P.S. - To learn more about the promise of membranes to decarbonize heavy industry, check out the links below:

  • "Point Source Carbon Capture: Amines, MOFs, Membranes - Understanding the pro's and con's" CEO, Erica Nemser, participated in the Decarb Connect Podcast and gave insights on the crucial role of membranes in decarbonization.
  • “Revolutionizing Carbon Capture: Unveiling the Membrane Technology Frontier” Vice President of Technology Solutions, Christine Parrish, joined the Catching Carbon Podcast to talk about the demand for accessible carbon capture technologies in heavy industry.
  • “CMS: how a corporate syndicate can derisk a breakthrough carbon capture technology” in Global Venturing
  • “Techno-economic process optimization for a range of membrane performances: What provides real value for point-source carbon capture?” in Carbon Capture Science and Technology