Ocean carbon removal is about to scale up thanks to recent positive developments. A carbon removal startup Captura Corporation announced on January 12th, the closing of a $12 million Series A financing round. It was led by Equinor Ventures and joined by Aramco Ventures, Caltech through the Caltech Seed Fund, Hitachi Ventures, Future Planet Capital, and mTerra Ventures.
Captura is a company founded in 2021, stemming from a technology developed in Caltech’s laboratories. It provides an ocean carbon removal solution that is deemed low-cost and with minimal impacts on the environment.
It uses renewable electricity and ocean water as inputs to its patented electrodialysis process that generates a stream of pure CO2. According to Capture, its ocean carbon removal approach avoids the need to move vast amounts of air over man-made absorbents, as is the case with land-based direct air capture.
Other advantages also include no need for rare earth elements, the process produces no by-products and can take advantage of existing ocean-based infrastructure for large-scale deployments like desalination plants or retired oil and gas platforms. It also has the potential to assist in addressing ocean acidification.
According to Captura, its technology is unique and has significant potential to be affordable and highly scalable. The new partnerships of the company can help it enhance its position and grow its offerings to meet the rising customers’ demand for high-quality permanent carbon removal.
The funding will help the company accelerate its piloting program and simultaneously continue to improve the technology. Captura began ocean trials of its first pilot system in 2022 that captures one ton of CO2 annually in Newport Beach.
Its next-generation pilot system is in progress and will have 100x the capacity of the first. It is expected to be installed at an ocean-based facility in 2023. Simultaneously, Captura’s engineers and scientists are developing proprietary optimized membranes to increase the electrical efficiency and further reduce removal costs.
The company’s expert team includes world-class expertise from the carbon removal industry, engineers and researchers, and is led by Steve Oldham, former CEO of the direct air capture company Carbon Engineering.
High-quality carbon removal is essential for the world to take responsibility for the excess amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Captura and its experts’ team of world-class professionals are working on a solution that can provide the carbon removal we need in a sustainable way to realize emissions reductions.