New US tech can successfully remove 100 tons of CO2 from the ocean a year

The system creates no by-products and doesn’t add anything to the ocean.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Captura's 100 ton per year Direct Ocean Capture pilot system in the lab at Pasadena .jpg
Captura's 100 ton per year Direct Ocean Capture pilot system in the lab at Pasadena.


Carbon removal company Captura and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles announced a partnership on Wednesday that will see a 35-acre blue economy campus house an ocean carbon removal system that can capture 100 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ocean a year.

The new system is a 100x scale-up from the company's first pilot that has been operating at Newport Beach, California, since August 2022. So far, it has been successful at operating end-to-end in the company's lab in Pasadena, indicating it could be viable and efficient as an actual campus in the sea.

As part of the new agreement, Captura will also use AltaSea's campus as the site for technology testing, research, and analysis to validate, scale, and improve its Direct Ocean Capture (DOC) technology. 

"We're thrilled to be welcoming Captura and their innovative solution to the AltaSea community," said AltaSea President and CEO Terry Tamminen. 

"This is what AltaSea is all about – bringing together key players from across the blue economy to scale ground-breaking technologies, forge new partnerships, and convene important conversations on topics critical to the fight against climate change."

Using the ocean's natural capacity

Captura's novel technology makes the most of the ocean's natural capacity as a carbon sink to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. The process is not only powered by renewable energy it also uses proprietary electrodialysis technology to capture CO2 directly from seawater and transform it into a stream that can be permanently sequestered or utilized. Best of all, it creates no by-products and doesn't add anything to the ocean.

"Captura's technology is progressing rapidly through our piloting program towards large-scale commercial deployment," said in the statement Captura CEO Steve Oldham. 

"Now, our work with AltaSea means we can further accelerate our technology and monitor how our system interacts with the ocean, and we couldn't think of a better partner to help us take our progress to the next level. Alongside the support from SoCalGas, this really is a great example of California companies working together to take a leading role in the fight against climate change."

The firms will continue to evaluate the new system's outcomes, including the effects of DOC on the marine ecosystem and its potential for helping to mitigate ocean acidification.

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