A mid-Pacific company has created a unique system that uses existing infrastructure to haul carbon offshore.
The benefits of extracting carbon from the ocean are superficial — it holds more carbon in the air than in the air. In addition, many machines are already pumping seawater — salt extraction plants, for example — so it is a simple matter to connect a device stored in a shipping container to existing systems.
In this case, the Hawaiian company Heimdal uses 50 salt extraction plants on the Big Island.
When seawater is pumped up to Heimdal V1, it uses electrolysis to separate hydrogen and oxygen from carbon-based acids that warm the oceans.
Purified seawater is returned to the ocean sans carbon. The separated acids are marketed as hydrochloric acid — a typical combination of industrial and laboratory-produced laboratories to satisfy the global market of 20 million tons a year.
“When excess acid is removed from the oceans, it changes the way CO2 exists back to the pre-Industrial Revolution,” Erik Millar, CEO of Heimdal, told Fast Company.
“This removes it from being carbonic acid, which makes the oceans acidic, and goes to bicarbonate and carbonate. These are stable forms of carbon dioxide that are found in the oceans, where they have been stored for more than 100,000 years.”