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Bill Gates-Led Fund Backs Tech to Use Natural Gas Without the Carbon Impact

C-Zero splits methane into hydrogen and solid carbon, eliminating much of the greenhouse-gas impact

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Photographer: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the fund helmed by Bill Gates, led a funding round to raise $11.5 million for California-based startup C-Zero Inc.

The company has developed technology to lower the greenhouse-gas emissions from using natural gas. Instead of burning the fuel to produce carbon dioxide and water, C-Zero passes the gas through a mixture of molten salts. Doing so splits methane — the main component of natural gas — into hydrogen gas and solid carbon. When the hydrogen burns, it produces water; the solid carbon goes to landfills.