Captura, AltaSea Plan Ocean Carbon Removal System at Port of Los Angeles

by | May 5, 2023

An image of clean blue ocean water is contrasted against dirty, brown ocean water with floating garbage.

(Credit: Canva Pro)

Captura, a carbon removal company founded at Caltech, has partnered with AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles to advance ocean-climate solutions. The partnership aims to promote technology development and industry collaboration in the ocean-climate space. As part of the collaboration, Captura’s newest ocean carbon removal system will be installed at AltaSea’s 35-acre blue economy campus. The ocean carbon removal system can capture up to 100 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ocean annually.

The latest system is scaled up by 100 times from the company’s first pilot, which has been operating at Newport Beach, California, since August 2022. Captura’s direct ocean capture (DOC) technology leverages the ocean’s natural capacity as a carbon sink to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. 

The process uses proprietary electrodialysis technology to capture CO2 directly from seawater and deliver it as a measurable stream that can be permanently sequestered or utilized.

The AltaSea-Captura partnership provides a unique opportunity for innovation and collaboration. Additionally, this collaborative effort also addresses the pressing challenges of climate change. 

Captura will use AltaSea’s campus as the site for technology testing, research, and analysis to validate, scale, and improve its DOC technology. Moreover, the partnership will also enable Captura to conduct technology development and ocean modeling work to guide feasibility studies for commercial facilities.

AltaSea-Captura’s Carbon Removal Process

The collaboration with AltaSea provides a semi-contained environment to measure and monitor the resulting atmospheric CO2 drawdown and evaluate the effects of DOC on the marine ecosystem, including its potential for helping to mitigate ocean acidification. By leveraging the ocean to remove atmospheric CO2, the approach is highly scalable and cost-effective. Captura’s process is also unique in that it creates no by-products and doesn’t add anything to the ocean – it simply removes CO2 that the atmosphere then replaces.

AltaSea’s President and CEO Terry Tamminen expressed his excitement about the collaboration, stating that “bringing together key players from across the blue economy to scale ground-breaking technologies, forge new partnerships, and convene important conversations on topics critical to the fight against climate change” is what AltaSea is all about.

Captura CEO Steve Oldham highlighted the rapid progress of the company’s technology through its piloting program towards large-scale commercial deployment and emphasized the importance of the collaboration with AltaSea in monitoring how their system interacts with the ocean. The partnership also demonstrates the power of California companies working together to take a leading role in the fight against climate change.

The partnership between Captura and AltaSea provides a significant step forward in advancing ocean-climate solutions and promoting collaboration in the blue economy ecosystem. By leveraging the ocean to remove atmospheric CO2, the technology has the potential to be highly scalable and cost-effective, providing a promising solution to combat climate change.

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