This Is CDR is an ongoing series of online events to explore the range of carbon dioxide removal solutions that are currently in development. This week, we have a presentation from Drs. Kate Moran and David Goldberg (a returning guest!) on their project Solid Carbon. Like several of our previous guests, Solid Carbon takes an ocean-based approach to carbon removal. Their plan is to use direct air capture to collect carbon on land or sea, then pump it down from offshore platforms, through pipelines, down under the sea floor, where it will mineralize in two to three years.
This same mineralization has been put to use at the Orca plant operated by Climeworks in Iceland, currently the largest carbon removal project in the world. But Solid Carbon is built on the observation that the ultramafic rock that allows carbon mineralization is much more common off shore. (You can learn more about this in Dr. Goldberg’s previous episode of This Is CDR.) Drs. Moran and Goldberg argue that offshore sequestration is one of the best options for CDR on a global scale. Cap rock and ocean pressure keep the sequestered carbon far from society; subsea sequestration is more durable and safer than storing carbon in depleted oil/gas wells, another frequent storage proposal; and injection has minimal impact on deep-sea life forms. And because the carbon mineralizes, there’s less need for long-term monitoring.
Solid Carbon is currently three years into a four-year study funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, examining the feasibility of a demonstration project in the Cascadia Basin, off the coast of Washington State. Stay tuned for more from this promising project, and as an added bonus, you can also examine all of Solid Carbon’s own research data, which is publicly available on their website. (Make sure to check out their lively explainer video too.)
Please check back next week for more This Is CDR, and for more, you can watch the whole This Is CDR series on our resources page.