The corporate venturing unit of US-based industrial company 3M has backed US-based ventilation, air conditioning and heating company 7AC Technologies. 3M New Ventures invested an undisclosed sum in 7AC on July 20. A March filing with US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission shows 7AC raised $2.4m of a planned $2.5m round. Last year 7AC raised $460,000, according to another filing. 7AC uses so-called “liquid desiccant technology” to remove humidity from the air, to heat and cool the environment. Stefan Gabriel, president, 3M New Ventures, said: “7AC’s paradigm changing approach to ultra-efficient air conditioning is well positioned to succeed in the fast-growing green building technologies space. In addition, our investment offers 3M a pathway to an exciting new strategic direction that is poised to create substantial growth opportunities for both companies.” Thomas Hamlin, technical director, 3M Purification Inc., said: “Conventional HVAC solutions are based on technology that is both energy intensive and offers limited prospects for energy efficiency improvements. 7AC’s technology incorporates a novel membrane-isolated plate design with integrated cooling. This solution provides the game changing development step necessary to move the HVAC industry to a new level of performance in terms of energy efficiency based on liquid desiccant dehumidification technology. We look forward to working with 7AC and applying 3M’s core competencies in support of taking the 7AC products to market.”

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