Carbon Kapture launches sustainability focused seaweed projects to combat climate change
Carbon Kapture, a start up company dedicated to the removal of CO₂ from the atmosphere, is launching of its first seaweed farm.
The company has developed an innovative business model allowing its customers to sponsor seaweed grown on ropes to absorb CO₂ directly from the sea. It then converts the seaweed into biochar, a stable form of carbon that can be used to enrich soil and reduce the need for fertiliser.
Carbon Kapture has partnered with shellfish farmers in Ireland to grow the seaweed, with plans for its first farm to become even larger than Amazon's newly funded North Sea Farm 1 project by the end of the year.
The idea came from Howard Gunstock and Dave Walker-Nix, ecopreneurs who have spent the last four years exploring ways to create a model which is both impactful and scalable. After studying the potential of seaweed as a carbon sink, the pair developed a circular economy model based on capturing carbon from biomass, and then working with the local community to put it to good use – in the case of Mulroy Bay, donating it to local farmers to help improve their crops. As well as the agricultural benefits of biochar, Carbon Kapture’s farms will increase biodiversity and help improve water quality. The company is also big on local community and will get involved with schools, universities, councils, and businesses to create jobs and promote climate awareness.
‘Our partnership with shellfish farmers is a game changer for the industry and for the fight against climate change,’ said Howard Gunstock. ‘We are able to produce large quantities of seaweed using a sustainable and eco friendly process, and turn that seaweed into biochar that can be used to improve soil quality and lock away the carbon for hundreds of years.’
Carbon Kapture's first farm has the potential to scale to 250 hectares, which would make it one of the largest seaweed farms in the world, capable of growing approximately 11,000 tonnes of seaweed per year. The company is also partnering with local farmers to distribute the biochar, ensuring that it is used in a way that benefits both the environment and the local community.
‘We are excited to be partnering with local farmers to distribute our biochar,’ said Dave Walker-Nix, chief technology office. ‘By working with the local community in County Donegal, we can ensure that our process has a positive impact on both the environment and the economy.’
Carbon Kapture is already receiving interest from a variety of organisations, including government, and NGOs, about the potential for scaling up the model to have a wider impact. ‘The most exciting aspect of this model is the potential for exponential growth,’ commented Paul Rees, chief revenue officer. ‘It takes us a matter of months to create a new Carbon Kapture partnership farm. Given the right interest levels, we aim to establish a global network of 200 farms over the next 10 years, which could capture over 364,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year. We are interested in speaking with companies that wish to distinguish their net zero plans from their competitors. To achieve our growth plans, we are actively looking to build relationships with shellfish and seaweed farmers across the world.’