The new process can reduce ocean acidification while permanently and cost-effectively storing CO2
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Spotted: The ocean is a vital part of the Earth’s ecosystem, playing a crucial role in regulating the global climate. However, the ocean is also under threat from human activity. Every year, billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. And a third of this CO2 is absorbed by the ocean. This process of absorption helps to regulate the Earth’s temperature, but it also causes the water to become more acidic, harming marine life. If this trend continues, it could have devastating consequences for the ocean’s ecosystem.
To address this, renewable energy startup Heimdal has launched the world’s first ocean-assisted carbon removal plant. This plant is capable of capturing CO2 at a cost of $475 (around € 448) per tonne – lower than any other direct air capture system currently available.
The process pumps saltwater into a machine that uses electricity to rearrange water molecules, removing acid. Next up, de-acidified seawater can be pumped back into the ocean. Crucially, the de-acidified water can then absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere. Heimdal then sells the acid it removes, which helps to offset the cost of operating the plant. In addition to capturing carbon dioxide, the plant also produces oxygen and freshwater as by-products.
The Heimdal team is currently working on a larger-scale prototype. The ultimate goal is to capture 5 million tonnes of CO2 within the next three years. If successful, this could be a major breakthrough in the fight against climate change.
Other carbon capture innovations recently spotted by Springwise include a system that prevents emissions from vehicle exhausts, giant algae-filled ponds, and a new material for cheaper carbon capture.
Written By: Katrina Lane