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Algae farms running to pull carbon out of the air

Global Society & Global Goals
Algae farms running to pull carbon out of the air

So you can use machinery to decarbonize the air, why worry when you may utilize the assistance of Mother Nature?

The start up Brilliant Planet achieves just that. Since 2013, Brilliant Planet has expanded from a three-square-meter test site on the South African island of St Helena to a 32,000 square meter manufacturing plant with the largest algae growth pond in the world in the Moroccan coastal desert. The business says it has achieved the ideal circumstances for low-cost carbon capture by utilizing saltwater to mimic the ideal development conditions for algal blooms.

The company realizes that there are numerous aspects to reducing carbon emissions, such as maintaining forests, but that there are also difficulties, particularly in terms of cost. It aims to lower the cost of removing a ton of CO2 from the atmosphere to under $50.

Algae's potential as a cost-effective way to permanently and quantitatively store carbon at the gigaton scale is being realized by Brilliant Planet. Large amounts of microalgae can grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert terrain according to the company's cutting-edge procedures. In order to accomplish this without utilizing freshwater, a natural process that benefits the health of the oceans and air is used.

Since the algae are effectively energized by the sun, the process is practically solar-powered, although it still requires running pumps to transfer seawater. The approach has two advantages: The company doesn't utilize any freshwater in its method, in contrast to certain other competitors the CEO is extremely cautious not to mention on the record, and the procedure also aids in de-acidifying the ocean water it does use.

Brilliant Planet will utilize the money from the Series A investment to plan for the construction of a 30-hectare commercial demonstration site after four years of testing at its 3-hectare research facility in Morocco, while maintaining its core R&D program with a London headquarters.

The technique generates "new" Net Primary Productivity by exploiting unused desert and seawater that would not have otherwise reached the surface. Raffael Jovine, chief scientist and co-founder of Brilliant Planet, explained that they use underutilized natural resources to grow new biomass and absorb extra carbon dioxide. "This technique de-acidifies the local coastal waters back to pre-industrial levels, while also sequestering up to 30 times more carbon per unit area per year than rainforests."

The company revealed that it has completed a $12 million Series A investment. Toyota Ventures and Union Square Ventures jointly led the investment. Future Positive Capital, AiiM Partners, S2G Ventures, Hatch, and Pegasus Tech Ventures are additional and follow-on investors.


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