What We Do
Captura offers a critical tool in the fight against climate change utilizing unique
gigaton-scalable Direct Ocean Capture (DOC) technology developed at Caltech.
Captura offers a critical tool in the fight against climate change utilizing unique gigaton-scalable Direct Ocean Capture (DOC) technology developed at Caltech.
Captura offers a critical tool in the fight against climate change
utilizing unique gigaton-scalable Direct Ocean Capture (DOC) technology developed at Caltech.
Founded in 2021 utilizing technology developed in Caltech’s laboratories, Captura provides low-cost atmospheric carbon removal by leveraging the world’s largest natural CO2 absorber – the ocean. With minimal impacts on the environment and using only renewable electricity and ocean water as inputs, our patented electrodialysis process generates a stream of pure CO2 that can then be sequestered or utilized to make other low-carbon products.
With no purpose-built air contactors, no absorbents, and no by-products, Captura’s solution enables large-scale carbon removal at a lower cost.
The clip below shows our first pilot system launch just off the coast of Newport Beach, CA.
The Captura Process
Captura’s technology features a flow of ocean water passing through the plant, which is then treated to remove its carbon dioxide content and then returned into the ocean. This decarbonized water then sits in the top layer of the ocean and will then react with the atmosphere to draw down an equivalent quantity of CO2.
In this way, Captura utilizes the ocean’s natural ability to draw down CO2 from the atmosphere. Without Captura’s technology, this well-known effect causes an increase in ocean acidification, as the ocean absorbs 30% of the world’s emissions. By removing CO2 from the ocean, Captura’s technology benefits from the ocean’s CO2 absorption capability without increasing ocean acidification.
The Captura process begins by pulling a stream of filtered ocean water into our system.
Less than 1% of this water is diverted and pre-processed to purify the ocean water into pure salt water. This salt water is then processed in Captura’s proprietary electrodialysis technology. Through dissociation, electrodialysis uses renewable electricity to split the salt and water into an acid and an alkali base.
The acid created is then added to the original flow of ocean water through the plant, triggering a chemical process that draws the CO2 out. We accelerate this process using a gas-liquid contactor and vacuum pump. The carbon dioxide is then captured as a purified stream, ready for subsequent sequestration or utilization.
This leaves a flow of acidic, decarbonized ocean water in the system. The alkaline base is then introduced to neutralize the ocean water flow, which is then returned to the ocean to capture atmospheric CO2.
In summary, Captura’s process uses solely renewable electricity and ocean water to remove CO2 from the atmosphere with no by-products and no absorbents.
Captura is able to deliver low-cost carbon removal through the following unique features:
Lower capital costs
- No purpose-built air contactors
- Taking advantage of existing ocean-based infrastructure
Lower operating costs
- No absorbents
- Leveraging off-peak renewable electricity
- No by-products – eliminates disposal costs
- Increased energy efficiency per ton of CO2 removed
- No precious or rare-earth elements
- Use of the ocean, which covers 70% of the Earth’s surface
- Deployable globally
- Produces a pure, measurable, and verifiable stream of CO2 for high quality carbon credits
- Alternatively, the CO2 stream can be used to make low-carbon products
Captura’s technology has been fully demonstrated in laboratories at Caltech with imported ocean water. These demonstrations have allowed the Captura team to measure and optimize system performance in advance of an ocean-based pilot.
Captura plans to install our first ocean-based, stand-alone pilot facility in Newport Beach, CA in the summer of 2022. The use of a continuous flow of ocean water will allow our team to measure system performance and implement system improvements.
In parallel, Captura is building our next-generation system, which will increase capacity by a factor of 100. We anticipate installing this system alongside existing ocean infrastructure in early 2023.
As more corporations seek out strategies for achieving net-zero, the demand for carbon removal is expected to grow. Captura’s technology is highly scalable, and to facilitate rapid and widespread global deployment we intend to work with partners who will license our technology and build Captura carbon removal plants throughout the world.
This will drive the initial deployment of our technology across the utility sector, the desalination industry, and inactive offshore gas/oil platforms. Longer-term, we envisage dedicated Captura platforms similar to today’s ocean-based energy infrastructure.
Combining the inherent scalability of Captura’s process with this licensing model allows us to deliver on our mission of providing a globally scalable tool for climate action.