Etosha Cave

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Etosha Cave

2016 Climate Fellow
Founder of Opus 12 with Nicholas Flanders

Etosha Cave 2016 Climate Fellow

Bold Idea 

Combat global carbon emissions by creating an artificial carbon cycle that uses metal catalysts to convert carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals and fuels.


Etosha Cave, chief science officer and co-founder of Opus 12, running an experiment. Photo courtesy of Opus 12.

What if the emissions of the world’s largest industries never reached the air? What if those emissions were instead transformed into valuable products for the global economy? Opus 12 is creating a market-driven solution to reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions. It has developed a device that can recycle CO2 back into fuels and everyday products. In the long term, the organization’s aim is to reduce climate change by providing a cost-competitive alternative to fossil fuels and petrochemicals. At scale, its revolutionary technology could offset one-third of global energy-related CO2 emissions.


Etosha Cave is chief science officer and co-founder of Opus 12, which is a startup recycling CO2 into higher-value products. She works with both the engineering team and the business development team to build the technology and grow the organization. Etosha has been passionate about energy and climate change since her childhood. She received her PhD from Stanford University, where she gained the foundational knowledge for this technology. In 2015, Etosha was a speaker at TedXStanford and the winner of the 2015 Cool Companies Competition at the Fortune Brainstorm E Conference. Prior to starting at Stanford, Etosha worked in Antarctica at the McMurdo Research Station. Etosha graduated from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in its first graduating class.

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