Team: Ebb Carbon
Ebb Carbon is a team of leading scientists, engineers, and seasoned climate tech entrepreneurs working to unlock the power of the ocean to solve climate change. Ebb’s approach reduces ocean acidity and restores ocean chemistry—helping to heal the ocean while cleaning up the atmosphere.
Ebb Carbon’s proprietary electrochemical system uses low carbon electricity to separate salty water into acid (hydrochloric acid) and base (sodium hydroxide) solutions. The basic solution (sodium hydroxide – NaOH) is returned to the ocean, enhancing the ocean’s ability to draw down more atmospheric CO2 and safely store it as bicarbonate. The acidic solution is prevented from returning to the ocean. Sensors and software control how much acid is separated and how much base is returned to the ocean, to verify the amount of CO2 drawdown and bicarbonate produced.
The Potential Advantages
By harnessing the ocean’s natural process for storing CO2, the Ebb Carbon system can be less energy-intensive and lower cost at-scale than comparable forms of carbon removal. Additionally, the process reduces ocean acidity and provides a low-carbon, low-cost source of hydrochloric acid that can be used for a range of existing industrial purposes.
A primary challenge is a better understanding of ideal system siting locations, which will involve identifying coastal industrial plants that process seawater and use hydrochloric acid—such as desalination plants, which turn saltwater into drinking water.
Assistant Scientist and Principal Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
Professor of Marine Chemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego