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General Galactic: Making Methane from Carbon Dioxide

General Galactic, a new startup operating in stealth mode, is adopting this approach to drive down prices for e-fuels
April 22, 2024

Integrating key components in-house is a strategy known to benefit products, as seen with Apple's custom microprocessors and Tesla's Superchargers. Now, a new startup, General Galactic, is applying this approach to drive down prices for e-fuels, producing hydrocarbons from captured carbon dioxide.

Founded by Halen Mattison, a former SpaceX employee, General Galactic was born out of Mattison's time at SpaceX, where he worked on propellant generation for Starship. Recognizing the need for a solution to produce fuel sustainably, Mattison, along with co-founder Luke Neise, started General Galactic after graduating from Stanford in 2022.

The startup raised a $1.9 million pre-seed round in July 2023 from venture capital firms including Box Group and Refactor.

General Galactic aims to make methane production cheaper than extracting it from the ground by capturing carbon dioxide from the air, producing hydrogen from water, and combining the two to form methane, all using renewable power. Unlike other companies focusing on one piece of the puzzle, General Galactic plans to design and develop the entire system in-house, giving it a greater incentive to drive down costs.

The startup's plan is to modularize each key component, allowing for mass production, easier transportation, and reduced construction costs for commercial-scale plants. Currently, General Galactic is focused on its methane reactor, producing approximately 2,000 liters of methane per day.

While many e-fuel startups target sustainable aviation fuel, General Galactic deliberately chose methane due to its broader applications across various industries. With an ambitious plan to tackle every aspect of e-fuel production in-house, General Galactic faces significant engineering challenges but aims to revolutionize the industry by making sustainable fuel production more accessible and affordable.

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