About Carbon Dioxide Removal

What is CDR? 

CDR, or Carbon Dioxide Removal, will be a critical tool in the climate change solutions portfolio. It refers to the wide range of processes and technologies that remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere for subsequent long-term storage through sequestration or utilization in other products. To learn more about different approaches to CDR and its key role in addressing climate change, see the World Resource Institute’s Video Explainer: What is Carbon Removal?

Why is CDR needed? 

Given the challenges of achieving substantial global scale emissions reductions, the latest science from the IPCC makes it clear that emissions reductions alone will not be sufficient in preventing the worst and soonest impacts of climate change or limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. These efforts must be supplemented with the removal of significant quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

The foundational challenge in tackling climate change is the historic accumulation of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. While emissions reductions will be key to decreasing the additional CO2 that enters the atmosphere each day, there is a much larger quantity of it already existing in our atmosphere. 

CDR offers a unique tool in solving the climate challenge by drawing down these historical emissions. In addition, high quality, verified offsets generated using CDR enable hard-to-abate sectors such as long-haul transport, aviation, and steel and cement production to become carbon-neutral much faster, which would otherwise be incredibly difficult to decarbonize. 

CDR will equip the global community with the tools pivotal to attaining net zero targets and building a more sustainable future. It provides us with the time needed to transition away from fossil fuels while continuing to meet the world’s energy needs and furthering decarbonization efforts. 

Why don’t we just plant more trees? 

Trees are one of the Earth’s own natural carbon-removing machines, and our forests are one of three major carbon sinks in the world. Captura supports planting additional trees, as they will always be beneficial to the environment, but tree-planting alone cannot provide a complete solution. The following article summarizes the limitations of reforestation as a climate solution.

MIT Climate: “Why don’t we just plant a lot of trees?”

About DOC

What is DOC? 
Direct Ocean Capture (DOC) refers to technologies that use the ocean in the process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. A variety of technologies are proposed, including ocean alkalinity enhancement, mineralization/enhanced weathering, and electrochemistry. 
How does pulling CO2 out of the ocean water remove historical atmospheric fossil fuel emissions? 
As one of three of the world’s largest carbon sinks, oceans absorb 30% of the CO2 released into the air as part of the naturally-occurring carbon cycle. Removing CO2 out of the ocean can create an effect where the shallow ocean will draw down CO2 from the atmosphere. 
Why use the ocean? 
The ocean’s natural CO2-capturing process makes its volumetric concentration of carbon dioxide about 150x more than that of the atmosphere. This simplifies the CO2 extraction process significantly. Deploying DOC using the enormous, available, and zero-cost ocean as an absorbent eliminates many foundational infrastructural challenges involved with CDR deployment.

About Captura’s Process

What happens to the captured CO2
CO2 captured in the Captura process is subsequently either sequestered or utilized. Permanent sequestration of these former fossil fuel emissions offers pathways to decarbonization as we move towards net zero. Utilization involves repurposing the CO2 into other useful products such as fuel or concrete. 
What effect does this have on marine life?
Captura’s process discharges decarbonized ocean water back into the ocean, ensuring minimal impact on marine life. We will work closely with environmental health groups and ocean science experts to ensure the protection of ocean ecosystems.
Can this be done anywhere?
 Much of Captura’s versatility can be credited to its lack of major location constraints. Captura systems can be deployed anywhere there is a reliable renewable energy supply and ocean water. This includes implementation in desalination plants, the utility sector, and inactive gas/oil platforms. Offshore options also eliminate many major land-use challenges frequently associated with large-scale carbon removal. 
Can your tech scale globally? 
Using the ocean as an existing absorbent in our process enables rapid and widespread deployment of Captura’s technology. All ocean water is compatible with Captura’s process, so our plants can be placed on any part of 70% of Earth’s surface covered with ocean water. 
Is this the same thing as Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE)? 
Captura’s unique DOC process is specifically designed to avoid altering ocean chemistry. Our process does not influence ocean alkalinity. 
What’s the cost of our carbon credits? 
We believe Captura’s approach has several significant cost advantages compared to other high-quality carbon offsets. Our team has made detailed assessments of the likely cost of carbon offsets using Captura’s technology, and we are confident in achieving removal and sequestration costs of less than $100 per ton as our technology is deployed. 
Where is your technology today? 
Captura’s technology has been fully demonstrated at a laboratory scale and our first pilot systems will start ocean testing this summer. See our Deployment Strategy on our “What We Do” page for more details.