Silicate To Undertake Its First-Ever Enhanced Weathering Trial In The U.S

Silicate To Undertake First-Ever Enhanced Weathering Trial In The U.S. - Carbon Herald

Article originally pubished on October 25th.

Climate tech startup Silicate is set to start its first-ever enhanced weathering trial in the United States. The trial will involve applying 500 metric tons of milled returned concrete to 50 hectares of farmland in Buckingham, Illinois. According to company estimates, this project has the potential to remove as much as 100 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.

In the span of one year, the milled concrete, which Silicate alters to enhance its sequestration capabilities, will break down in the soil and turn into stable bicarbonate ion that will be stored in the ocean for over 80,000 years. 

The trial aims to analyze the potential of this enhanced rock weather method in the Corn Belt, where the soil, crop type, and moisture differ from those in Ireland. The company has already conducted trials in Ireland that showed potential. 

Relevant: “The Foundational Science Work We Do Now Is Essential To Scale Enhanced Weathering,” Maurice Bryson, Founder Silicate

In case of success, Silicate estimates that for every ton of concrete applied to the soil, 200 kilograms of CO2 will be permanently removed from ambient air. The company would expand operations across Illinois and the Midwest, with the potential to sequester 50-100 million tons of carbon annually in the American Midwest. 

“Carbon removals will play an important role as the world attempts to tackle and avoid some of the worst effects of climate change,” said Maurice Bryson, Silicate CEO and co-founder. This strategy of repurposing reclaimed concrete to enhance farmland productivity and carbon sequestration has high potential, he said, explaining that the method is cost-effective and safe for agricultural application.

The trial is financed through the prize money that Silicate received at SXSW earlier this year. At the event, the startup was recognized as one of two winners of the THRIVE/Shell Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge. In addition, Shell is contributing LI-COR soil gas flux measurement devices for the year-long trial. The devices will be used to monitor the fields.

Read more: Klarna To Contribute $2.3 Million To Climate Impact Projects

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