Some of the kelp that Running Tide Technology is growing

One Maine-based startup, Running Tide Technologies, is experimenting with farming kelp, a type of seaweed, in an effort to pull carbon from the air and retailer it deep beneath the ocean ground, doubtlessly giving the world one other nature-based software to curb local weather change.

Running Tide Founder Marty Odlin, a Dartmouth graduate and engineer whose household consists of generations of fishermen, is working with a crew of engineers, software program builders, oceanographers, maritime professionals, information scientists and hatchery technicians to bury large quantities of kelp at the backside of the ocean. Odlin aiming to “restore and then accelerate that natural process” of seaweed absorbing carbon from the ambiance, he instructed NCS Business.

“Kelp is one of the fastest growing things in the world, so it pulls carbon in at the fastest rate of any species in the world,” Odlin mentioned. From his uncle’s re-purposed lobster boat, he and his crew use ocean currents to transfer the kelp to deep water the place it may be sunk. Gravity then places the kelp underneath super stress as it sinks to the deep ocean.

The seeds are put in a hatchery the place the kelp can develop. Once matured, the crew places the kelp into biodegradable buoys. As it grows, the plant ultimately turns into too heavy for the buoy and sinks to the backside of the ocean the place the large water stress pushes it into the sea ground. “After the kelp grows, the biodegradable buoy will dissolve and lose its buoyancy and everything will sink to the ocean bottom,” Oldin instructed NCS. “The ocean is a tremendous natural carbon sink,” he added.

But that is no easy process, he acknowledges. “The intentional removal of eight hundred gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere will probably be the biggest engineering challenge in human history,” Odlin mentioned. “It’s essentially running 150 years of the oil industry in reverse in 15 years.”

Some of the kelp that Running Tide Technology is growingSome of the kelp that Running Tide Technology is growing

Odlin is working with scientists and universities to accumulate information to be sure that carbon is getting eliminated. “The positives for growing kelp is that it grows remarkably fast and the deep water environments it sinks to have really low temperatures which can limit decomposition back to carbon dioxide,” Peter Raymond, a professor of ecosystem ecology at Yale, instructed NCS Business.

Carbon sequestration has been a sizzling subject for a while, however the conversations surrounding the methodologies have picked up as the Biden administration focuses on combating local weather change and growing clear vitality applied sciences.

“There are a lot of really progressive companies out there that want to minimize their carbon footprint and we can sell the carbon removal service to those companies,” Odlin mentioned of Running Tide’s overarching enterprise technique. When an organization buys a carbon elimination credit score from Running Tide, Odlin and his crew take away the carbon for them to offset the carbon they’re emitting to run their enterprise.

The kelp in the Gulf of Maine's waters The kelp in the Gulf of Maine's waters

E-commerce platform Shopify is Running Tide’s first large buyer for carbon elimination credit. Stacy Kauk, the director of Shopify’s sustainability fund instructed NCS Business she was stunned to be taught that Running Tide wasn’t “relying on expensive equipment or energy-intensive processes, and yet their solution has huge potential for combating climate change.” Shopify can be serving to Running Tide scale and commercialize their know-how and create extra partnership alternatives.

While planting bushes may be one among the finest methods to seize carbon, corporations try to discover new ways to step up to the plate now. “We can do large-scale afforestation efforts, but they’re not going to get us to where we need to go,” Odlin mentioned of utilizing bushes for carbon sequestration. “They’re not removing carbon from the carbon cycle,” he added. “It’s kind of like temporary storage.” Plus, exterior elements comparable to wildfires and pine beetle infestations can fully destroy bushes, eliminating the sequestration and releasing the carbon again into the ambiance.

“Making it cheaper for businesses to invest in carbon capture and storage is the best way to immediately reduce fossil fuel emissions,” mentioned Sally Benson, co-director of Stanford Energy’s Precourt Institute.

The timing is pressing. “This is like an incredibly important crisis, and every year matters,” Odlin mentioned. “Every year we allow this carbon in the atmosphere, the world warms up.”

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