A new startup founded in 2019, Planetary Technologies has received funding to advance its innovative ocean carbon removal technology. The company announced it has raised $6.2 million ($7.8 million CAD) from major investors.
The pre-seed and seed funding rounds were closed at $3.3 million and the startup received $2.9 million through grant funding. Investors include the early-stage venture capital firm Innovacorp and Apollo Projects.
The funding will be used for the construction of pilot facilities to deploy Planetary Technologies’ carbon transition innovation. It works as it speeds up the earth’s natural process of removing carbon from the air and safely storing it in the ocean – the largest natural carbon sink on the earth’s surface.
The technology basically adds alkalinity to seawater for the purpose of capturing CO2. Planetary introduces naturally occurring alkaline waste minerals from around the planet into the oceans. The minerals are purified via an electrochemical process to ensure no nutrients, fertilization, or harmful metals are added to the ocean.
The alkalinity added to the ocean rapidly enhances its natural ability to draw out and permanently sequester carbon from the atmosphere. It also restores the damage caused by increased acidification due to climate change.
The purifying of minerals process used by Planetary also creates green hydrogen as a by-product. The clean energy source could be used by the industry as a zero-carbon fuel.
“The global community agrees that we need a three-pronged approach to stop the harmful effects of climate change – adapt, reduce emissions and remove carbon – and Planetary’s process does all three, the most critical being our ability to remove carbon dioxide from the air… Carbon removal will be a trillion-dollar industry by 2050, and Planetary is leading the way by creating a safe, scalable and natural solution to slow climate change and even reverse some of the damage already done,” said Mike Kelland, Planetary CEO.
The long-term goal of the startup is to remove 1 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2035. The funding will support the launch of pilot plants in Quebec and Nova Scotia, which will demonstrate a scaled version of its patented carbon removal process.
The pilot facilities are projected to come online in phases starting later this year. They will be integrated with an oceans research project and in collaboration with local partners to monitor the chemical and biological effects of the process.
The company is currently selling 3,000 carbon credits with retirement dates between 2025-2027. Shopify has previously bought credits from Planetary with the agreement to be generated by the pilot plant later this year.