Researchers from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering are launching a new ocean carbon removal project to help mitigate the climate crisis.
The project involves a novel electrochemical process that utilizes the ocean’s natural capability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Led by director of the UCLA Institute for Carbon Management, Gaurav Sant, the teams demonstrated its technology called SeaChange in the Port of Los Angeles.
Gaurav Sant commented on the launch of the new project saying: “The need for scalable and sustainable solutions to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide is more urgent than ever, and we are proud to lead the charge in developing innovative solutions.”
As the world’s largest natural carbon sink, the ocean has the unique capability to hold roughly 150 times more CO2 than the earth’s atmosphere.
The SeaChange technology developed by the UCLA team enhances that ability, potentially even on a global scale, using an electrochemical process.
This process involves the CO2, magnesium and calcium that have been dissolved in seawater and converting them into solid limestone and brucite – a process that is also present in nature and closely resembles that which helps certain marine organisms form seashells.
Once the seawater that is depleted of carbon dioxide and is now alkalinized, it can be released into the ocean.
According to the engineers, the pilot plants located in Singapore and Los Angeles will become operational soon and will be ready to put the technology’s effectiveness to the test.
The UCLA SeaChange ocean carbon removal technology has so far managed to gain much traction and has received funding from different sources, including $1 million from the US Department of Energy.