Captura, a carbon removal company founded at Caltech, and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles today announced a partnership that will further advance ocean-climate solutions. As part of the partnership, AltaSea’s 35-acre blue economy campus will become home to Captura’s newest ocean carbon removal system that can capture 100 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ocean annually.
The latest system is a 100x scale-up from the company’s first pilot that has been operating at Newport Beach, California since August 2022. The new system has already been successfully operating end-to-end in the company’s lab in Pasadena and Captura plans to move it to AltaSea in the coming months to begin ocean field trials. The new, larger system was funded by a third Californian company, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), as part of an ongoing relationship with Captura to support the demonstration and scale-up of the technology.
The AltaSea-Captura partnership provides a unique opportunity for both innovation and collaboration to help address the pressing challenges of climate change. Captura will use AltaSea’s campus as the site for technology testing, research, and analysis to validate, scale and improve its Direct Ocean Capture (DOC) technology. As an ocean science, business, and education hub, AltaSea also provides the ideal platform for community engagement and industry collaboration across the blue economy ecosystem.
“We’re thrilled to be welcoming Captura and their innovative solution to the AltaSea community,” said AltaSea President & CEO Terry Tamminen. “This is what AltaSea is all about – bringing together key players from across the blue economy to scale ground-breaking technologies, forge new partnerships, and convene important conversations on topics critical to the fight against climate change.”
Captura’s DOC technology leverages the ocean’s natural capacity as a carbon sink to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Powered by renewable energy, the process uses proprietary electrodialysis technology to capture CO2 directly from seawater and deliver it as a measurable stream that can be permanently sequestered or utilized. When the CO2-depleted seawater is returned to the ocean, it has the capacity to absorb the same quantity of CO2 from the air that was originally removed.
By leveraging the ocean to remove atmospheric CO2, the approach is highly scalable and cost-effective. Captura’s process is also unique in that it creates no by-products and doesn’t add anything to the ocean – it simply removes CO2 that the atmosphere then replaces.
“Captura’s technology is progressing rapidly through our piloting program towards large-scale commercial deployment,” said Captura CEO Steve Oldham. “Now, our work with AltaSea means we can further accelerate our technology and monitor how our system interacts with the ocean, and we couldn’t think of a better partner to help us take our progress to the next level. Alongside the support from SoCalGas, this really is a great example of California companies working together to take a leading role in the fight against climate change.”
At AltaSea, Captura’s team will conduct technology development and ocean modeling work that will enable the company to validate and improve the efficiency of the pilot DOC system and guide feasibility studies for commercial facilities. It will provide a semi-contained environment to measure and monitor the resulting atmospheric CO2 drawdown and evaluate the effects of DOC on the marine ecosystem, including its potential for helping to mitigate ocean acidification.