HomeCarbon CreditsEquatic Reveals First-of-a-Kind Ocean CO2 Removal Tech, Inks Deal with Boeing

Equatic Reveals First-of-a-Kind Ocean CO2 Removal Tech, Inks Deal with Boeing

Ocean carbon removal startup Equatic launches breakthrough low-cost, gigaton-scale climate technology and signs a pre-purchase deal with Boeing.

L.A.-based Equatic is an UCLA Samueli School of Engineering’s Institute for Carbon Management spinoff company. It’s the first to apply a revolutionary electrolytic approach that combines ocean carbon removal and carbon-negative hydrogen production. 

Alongside its tech launch, Equatic also revealed that it signed a CO2 removal (CDR) pre-purchase agreement with aerospace giant Boeing. Boeing will buy 62,000 tonnes of carbon removal and 2,100 tonnes of carbon-negative hydrogen from Equatic.

Equatic’s 2-in-1 Climate Solution

According to Lorenzo Corsini, Equatic’s Principal Advisor, the world is dealing with two utmost climate challenges: the permanent removal of gigatons of CO2 and the shift away from fossil fuels. This is where Equatic’s climate solution comes in to address both problems in one process.

Corsini describes it saying that:

“Equatic’s first-of-its-kind technology solves both. It combines basic principles of chemistry with the natural capabilities of the world’s best carbon removal tool, the ocean, to create the most promising solution for scalable decarbonization — cost-effectively and at a globally-relevant scale.”

The oceans are the world’s largest carbon sink; 30% of the planet’s daily carbon emissions are drawn down by the ocean. 

Equatic’s revolutionary technology speeds up this natural cycle to remove and permanently store CO2. 

At the heart of Equatic’s novel ocean carbon removal tech is a single-process but multi-product solution that allows decarbonization at the speed, scale, and cost required to tackle the climate crisis.

In the words of the startup’s CEO, Lord John Browne, “the costs are low enough to allow unprecedented scaling and adoption globally.”

Equatic aims to achieve 100,000 tonnes of ocean carbon removal yearly by 2026 and millions of removals for less than $100 per tonne by 2028.

Equatic Way of Removing Carbon and Producing Credits

Equatic’s CO2 removal plant uses four items to remove and store CO2 while producing carbon-negative hydrogen at the same time. These include air, seawater, rock, and renewable electricity. 

Equatic ocean carbon removal process

  1. Seawater enters the plant.
  2. The ocean-based removal tech uses electrolysis, a process wherein electric current passes through seawater. Water splits into hydrogen and oxygen gas, with alkalinity promoting carbon removal.
  3. The air then passes through the processed seawater, leading to direct air capture.
  4. Co-produced hydrogen gas for sale as a clean fuel source.
  5. In the last step, Equatic neutralizes the treated seawater using alkaline rock while ensuring that its natural chemistry remains intact. 
  6. Seawater discharges back into the ocean.

These processes trap CO2 in solid minerals and as substances that naturally dissolve in the oceans. Thus, the captured CO2 is stored permanently for over 100,000 years.

This unique ocean-based carbon removal process is the key to achieving scalable, durable, and high-quality carbon removal. It also allows for industry-leading Monitoring, Verification, and Reporting. 

Since the process doesn’t rely on the open ocean but within the boundaries of an industrial plant, Equatic can measure removal with extreme certainty. This enables the startup to sell in-demand, high-quality, and permanent carbon removal credits.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of generating carbon-negative hydrogen fuel. Carbon-negative hydrogen is from processes that reduce CO2 emissions.

Added Bonus: Producing Carbon-Negative Hydrogen

The hydrogen by-product can be used to power Equatic’s process itself. It can also be sold as a carbon-negative or clean energy fuel to decarbonize other processes or sectors. This particularly includes the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) for the aviation industry.

Sheila Remes, Boeing’s Vice President of Environmental Sustainability remarked on this, pointing out that:

“Reaching aviation’s sustainability goals will require a multi-faceted approach and Boeing sees immense value in Equatic’s technology.”

Equatic spun out from UCLA with $30M+ in initial funding including grants and equity investments from various organizations. These include the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the National Science Foundation, The Nicholas Endowment, Singapore’s Temasek Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, among many others.

The company is currently running two ocean CO2 removal pilots in Los Angeles and Singapore. All of the carbon removed from these pilots has been pre-sold to Boeing and to the payment solution provider, Stripe. Stripe’ Frontier fund aims to invest $1 billion to help carbon removal startups scale up and lower the cost of sucking CO2 from the air. 

Combining ocean carbon removal and hydrogen production within the same process significantly lowers both their costs. This allows Equatic not to depend on fossil fuels, thereby avoiding a fossil fuel-related footprint.

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