UK company grows algae in huge ponds to sequester carbon at gigatonne scale

Brilliant Planet has announced a $12 million investment in its algae-based carbon capture and storage system.

This announcement comes at an important time: on Monday, the United Nations IPCC released its latest report highlighting the critical role of carbon dioxide removal in achieving our shared climate goals.

We believe that quantifiable and additive nature-based solutions will play a crucial role in the decades to come.

shiny planet

Since 2013, Brilliant Planet has used the power of algal blooms to sequester carbon at the gigatonne scale.

The process consists of huge open ponds on coastal desert terrain. After its first 3 m2 experiment off Saint Helena, South Africa, the company has expanded its efforts to a 30,000 m2 production facility with the world’s largest algae growth pond in the coastal desert. from Morocco.

The method takes advantage of a natural process without the need to add fresh water.

We are different from conventional algae systems. You don’t expand an artificial test tube with artificial seawater pumped with carbon dioxide. Our nature-based system measures the ocean to use natural seawater, nutrients and CO2. This natural process deacidifies seawater, which improves local ecosystems and also enables breakthrough levels of affordability.

shiny planet

Natural solutions to climate change are often the most scalable and cost-effective, but it is often difficult to verify the amount of carbon removed by these methods and the permeability of storage. On the other hand, man-made solutions such as direct air capture can be easily verified, but are prohibitively expensive due to the large inputs of energy, chemicals and fresh water they require. .

Brilliant Planet has now developed a unique, cost-effective, scalable and verifiable nature-based system that ticks all the boxes. Now that the IPCC confirms that huge amounts of carbon will need to be removed from the atmosphere to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we believe this is the right solution at the right time.

Adam Taylor, CEO of Brilliant Planet

By using empty desert and sea water that otherwise would not have come to the surface, our solution creates “new” net primary productivity. In other words, we use underutilized natural resources to grow new biomass and extract excess carbon dioxide. Per unit area, this approach sequesters up to 30 times more carbon per year than tropical forests, while deacidifying local coastal seawater to pre-industrial levels.

Raffael Jovine, chief scientist and co-founder.

The company is currently developing a scalable production platform so that the algal ponds can be deployed around the world.

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