Startup Spiritus has come out of stealth, with the announcement of an $11 million funding raise from Khosla Ventures, Page One Ventures, and others.

The company, which has been operating in secret since December 2021, plans to develop direct air carbon capture orchards.

Spiritus Fruit
– Spiritus

Spiritus, Latin for breath, has developed a sorbent that absorbs carbon dioxide passively. It has developed a round shape with an alveoli-like structure it calls a fruit that it will lay out in the orchard.

"Lungs are very well rehearsed at doing this — taking a large volume of air and then dispersing it or spreading it out over an extraordinary high amount of interface that the alveoli make with other parts of the body," chief technology officer Matt Lee told CNBC.

That fruit is then heated with low heat in a container to remove the carbon dioxide. DCD has asked the company for more details on the temperature required, and whether data center waste heat could be used.

Spiritus will then partner with carbon sequestration companies to take that removed carbon and store it for longer. It hopes that its solution will eventually lead to a cost of less than $100 per ton of carbon removed.

"We're able to remove about 1,000 times more carbon dioxide than a forest can," CEO Charles Cadieu told CNBC. "And so this solution is actually far more efficient than forestry for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per acre."

Early customers include Stripe, Shopify, and Frontier.