The Ocean Visions Launchpad supports selected innovators working on ocean-based carbon dioxide removal pathways, as well as those who are enabling or improving our understanding of these pathways. We work with teams to identify their specific needs and build customized expert advisory teams to provide ongoing advice and support.
Seafields’ approach combines two potential ocean-based carbon dioxide removal approaches: seaweed aquaculture and artificial upwelling. The floating seaweed sargassum will be cultivated via offshore farms, irrigated by pipes that bring nutrient-rich waters to the surface. Once ready, the sargassum will be processed onboard, where valuable nutrients will be extracted before the remaining biomass is baled at a depth of 4,000 meters for long-term sequestration.
The Potential Advantages
Sargassum is extremely fast-growing with the potential to double in biomass every 11 days, thus creating the potential to more efficiently store carbon than other species. Sargassum farms may relieve pressures on coastal ecosystems by creating oases of life in the ocean deserts, thus bolstering habitats for crustaceans, and serving as fish nurseries. Additionally, Seafields’ system operations will be powered by solar and wind, minimizing energy consumption.
Offshore marine aquaculture poses challenges due to remoteness, unpredictability of weather patterns, and environmental conditions. Ocean Visions will provide expert support to help assess and offer guidance as it relates to needed deep ocean infrastructure, the potential environmental impacts of the sargassum bales, and carbon sequestration rates.
Wim van Rees
Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tanya Brodie Rudolph
CEO at Enviromer and Research Fellow at Centre for Sustainability Transitions