Providing tailored expert support to innovators developing ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies
Developed in 2021, the first cohort of the Ocean Visions Launchpad program supports selected companies competing for the $100M XPRIZE that are using ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches. For the second cohort, we are pleased to expand our search profile beyond XPRIZE participants to include all innovators working on ocean-based carbon dioxide removal pathways, as well as those who are enabling or improving our understanding of these pathways. The goal of the one-year-long Launchpad program is to provide scientific and engineering advice and review to help innovators optimize their technologies and to fully measure, understand, and minimize negative environmental effects. We help by connecting innovators with expert advisors drawn from the Ocean Visions Network who have deep experience in areas ranging from oceanography and engineering to environmental evaluation. Launchpad is free to the companies that are selected, thanks to support from our donors.

The Challenge

We can no longer reverse the climate crisis through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions alone. Current levels of CO2 in our air and ocean will persist for decades, if not centuries, and continue to drive dangerous changes – including in the ocean. We need to remove between 100 – 1000 gigatons of carbon dioxide by the end of this century just to hold temperatures to a 1.5°C increase – the goal in the Paris Agreement.  

The Solution

Potential solutions are within reach. There are many viable ways to clean up atmospheric and oceanic CO2. To date, most carbon dioxide removal (CDR) has been focused on land-based solutions, such as afforestation or direct air capture. There are also many promising solutions that that build on the ocean’s natural processes – aka ocean-based CDR.

How It Works

Identify Team Needs

Ocean Visions works with our selected cohort of competitors to identify the specific technical and disciplinary expertise, as well as key physical resources (such as testing facilities, vessels, and labs), that they most need to enhance their ability to succeed

Assemble Expert Advisors

Ocean Visions recruits appropriate experts from within its diverse Network to build customized teams from relevant disciplines and expertise. These advisory teams provide ongoing technical advice and support.

Captura is developing electrochemical approaches and scalable technologies to extract CO₂ from seawater for sequestration purposes. Captura’s offshore platform system will use a novel electrodialysis unit to split and separate water molecules into acid and base, enabling the capture of high-purity CO₂ gas and helping restore the pH balance of seawater —the only system inputs being oceanwater and sunlight.

Ebb Carbon is pioneering a new approach to ocean-based carbon removal. Their proprietary electrochemical system uses low carbon electricity to separate salt water into acid and base, enhancing the ocean’s natural ability to safely store excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, while reducing ocean acidity. Sensors and software control how much base is returned to the ocean, to verify the amount of CO₂ removed.

Phykos is growing seaweed to attempt to capture carbon from the ocean surface. They plan on using robotic vessels that will navigate to optimal conditions to grow seaweed. Autonomous and mechanized platforms will allow for periodic harvesting, whereby sheared seaweed sinks to the deep ocean—taking with it embodied carbon. 

Running Tide is deploying and testing free-floating microforests in the open ocean to sequester carbon before sinking into the deep ocean for durable storage. A proprietary system will remotely monitors these microforests, quantifying kelp growth, carbon content, and sinking locations.
Seafields plans to harness the power of the floating seaweed Sargassum to capture and store carbon at scale. Offshore sustainable aqua-farms, irrigated by pipes that bring nutrient-rich waters to the surface, will support the cultivation of Sargassum, which will then be harvested. Carbon-rich leftovers will then be baled, compressed, and sunk to the bottom of the ocean to lock away carbon.
TROFX is currently demonstrating offshore structures for macroalgae cultivation and nutrient upwelling, while developing proprietary technology for the extraction of valuable protein components. The team aims to demonstrate rugged and low capital cost infrastructure capable of producing massive quantities of biomass, and an efficient system for precisely transporting macroalgae into the deep ocean for sequestration.
Banyu Carbon employs a simple, light-driven process to remove carbon dioxide from ocean surface waters, allowing for additional carbon to be reabsorbed from the air. Captured CO₂ can then be stored in geologic formations or used in long-lived products.
Capture6 links direct air capture of carbon dioxide with ocean alkalinity enhancement to recover fresh water and help enable potential large-scale removal of carbon dioxide (CO₂) pollution.
CarbonBlue is developing a method to remove carbon dioxide from both ocean and fresh waters and capture it for long-term storage, in turn enabling a similar amount of carbon dioxide to be reabsorbed and captured again in an ongoing process.

Carboniferous, Inc. harnesses the carbon-sequestering power of plants with natural preservation mechanisms in oxygen-free ocean basins to achieve durable carbon sequestration.

Subtidal is pioneering the first comprehensive monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) solution for marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) projects to measure and validate their carbon dioxide drawdown.
Vycarb is developing a first-of-its-kind technology to generate fully measured marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) for improved safety, efficacy, and transparency of mCDR at scale.

SeaO₂ is using electrochemical direct ocean capture to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in geological formations or products such as concrete for long-term sequestration.

Brilliant Planet grows microalgae in coastal deserts in an effort to help remove atmospheric carbon dioxide for multi-millennial storage while deacidifying the coastline to a pre-industrial pH.

“To address the enormous challenges associated with climate change, we need grand ideas that can be scaled up.”

Wim Van Rees

Assistant Professor, MIT

Support for this work comes from: