SoCalGas and Captura Begin Testing Innovative Direct Ocean Carbon Removal Technology
The advanced technology could help remove carbon from the atmosphere and accelerate CA’s climate goals
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Captura, a carbon removal company founded at Caltech, announced the deployment of an innovative, direct ocean carbon removal technology that uses 100% renewable energy and ocean water to draw down surplus atmospheric CO2. The technology was recently installed at Caltech’s Kerckhoff Marine Lab in Newport Beach and marks the first time the Captura system will be operating in ocean water conditions. Over the next few months, researchers will test and validate the energy efficiency costs and purity of the extracted CO2. Captura plans to scale up the technology to remove millions of tons of atmospheric CO2, which could help accelerate achieving California’s climate goals.
“Just like solar panels, wind turbines, and clean fuels, carbon removal technologies will be essential tools in the clean energy transition,” said Neil Navin, SoCalGas vice president for clean energy innovations. “Supporting innovations like the Captura technology helps utilities like SoCalGas plan for the infrastructure investments that will be needed to reach California’s climate goals affordably and reliably.”
Carbon management technologies are expected to play an important role in meeting the state’s climate goals. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent ambitious climate proposal includes setting a 20 million metric tons (MMT) carbon removal target for 2030 and 100 MMT carbon removal target for 2045, emphasizing the role of natural and working lands and the need for safe and equitable engineered carbon removal.
“The climate crisis is already having a staggering impact on California, from droughts and wildfires to heat waves and other catastrophic weather events,” said Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris. “These impacts are only expected to intensify, posing a significant threat to public health and our economy. State leaders need to deploy the full range of technologies available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon removal, which leading experts have identified as a critical component of any successful strategy to meet our climate goals.”
“Captura’s process removes a measurable stream of CO2 from the ocean. We then return that de-carbonized water back into the ocean, which then absorbs the same quantity of CO2 from the air. The CO2 stream we produce can then be permanently sequestered or utilized in products,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of Captura. “We are grateful for the support that SoCalGas has provided Captura, enabling this initial pilot demonstration and assisting us in quickly scaling up the technology.”
At commercial scale, Captura plans to deploy its technology atop offshore oil and gas platforms as they reach end of life. In this way, Captura can utilize existing infrastructure and co-locate the technology with existing storage sites. The company works closely with environmental health groups and ocean science experts for the protection of ocean ecosystems.
Last year SoCalGas announced its aspiration to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and the energy it delivers by 2045 and earlier this year released its ASPIRE 2045 Sustainability Strategy to help reach that goal.
SoCalGas research has found that carbon management tools like Captura’s, when combined with electrification and clean fuels like hydrogen and renewable natural gas, deliver the most affordable, resilient, and technologically proven path to full carbon neutrality.
In 2021, SoCalGas joined the U.S. Department of Energy to fund testing of a first-of-its-kind direct air capture technology that captures carbon dioxide from the air while simultaneously collecting water that can be reused for irrigation. The company has a dozen carbon management projects in its Research, Development & Demonstration portfolio, designed to develop new tools to help with decarbonization and net-zero innovation.
Video of the pilot ocean carbon removal technology is available here.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company’s pipelines will continue to play a key role in California’s clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas’ mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.
Captura is a carbon removal company headquartered in Pasadena, California. Captura uses the ocean to extract CO2 from the atmosphere at huge scale and at an affordable cost, providing a critical capability in the fight against climate change. Captura was founded at Caltech and was selected as one of 15 Milestone Awards winners for the Carbon Removal XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.capturacorp.com
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Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company