Ebb Carbon has commenced the operation of its marine carbon removal and ocean deacidification system in Sequim, Washington. The company, founded by former Google X, Tesla, and SolarCity executives, started deploying the new technology following a Series A investment round.
The new system processes seawater from Sequim Bay, where acid is first filtered from the water. Carbon is then absorbed by the seawater and stored as bicarbonate, a durable and naturally abundant carbon storage material found in the ocean.
The treated seawater will then undergo significant research and experimentation in order to find the level of carbon sequestered and the impact of the process on ocean deacidification and local biology. The byproduct of the process, low-carbon acid, can then be used to neutralize alkaline waste and stormwater in the area.
Extensive assessment of the process will be conducted through partnerships with the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at Sequim and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, among others. Funding support is provided through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Acidification Program, the DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office, and ClimateWorks Foundation.
Ebb’s system has the capacity to remove 100 tons of atmospheric carbon per year following a period of lower carbon capture levels, allowing for adequate analysis.
“Given the realities of climate change, we must act quickly to deploy solutions to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere,” said Ben Tarbell, CEO of Ebb Carbon. “It’s equally important that we do this in a way that is transparent and facilitates public dialogue so that scientists, researchers, policymakers, and communities have visibility into the process. We welcome the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading scientists and researchers as we begin to scale our technology.”
Potential of Seawater Carbon Capture and Ocean Deacidification
Deployment of Ebb’s new system follows Equatic’s electrolysis-based seawater carbon capture system, which also places immense importance on the measurability and transparency of its carbon capture process.
Much like Equatic’s use of mimicking natural processes from the ocean in storing carbon, Ebb speeds up natural processes that restore ocean chemistry by neutralizing excess acidity. The increased acidity of the ocean due to human-caused carbon emissions has threatened marine ecosystems. The process of deacidification paired with carbon removal takes steps toward addressing the 6 to 10 billion tons of carbon that will need to be removed each year from the atmosphere by 2050 to meet climate targets.
“Although rising temperatures are harming oceans, oceans are a powerful ally in combatting climate change,” said Jan Mazurek, senior director of carbon dioxide removal at ClimateWorks Foundation. “ClimateWorks is pleased to join federal partners and the University of Washington to ensure that emerging marine carbon dioxide removal approaches are safe to marine life, coastal communities, and Indigenous peoples, and help foster conditions for ongoing innovation that creates new clean energy jobs.”