Carbon Capture : Startup Planetary Technologies wants to store carbon in Oceans

Waves of water of the river and the sea meet each other during high tide and low tide. Whirlpools of the maelstrom of Saltstraumen, Nordland, Norway
© Andrey Armyagov -

Planetary Technologies, the first climate technology company to remove carbon using direct ocean capture while creating renewable fuel and restoring ocean damage from climate change, announced it has raised $7.8 million CAD. Planetary closed pre-seed and seed funding rounds at $4.2 million and received $3.6 million CAD through grant funding. Major investors include Innovacorp and Apollo Projects. Planetary will use the funding to build pilot facilities to deploy its proprietary carbon transition technology, which speeds up the earth’s natural process of removing carbon from the air and safely storing it in the ocean, the largest natural carbon sink on earth’s surface.

Founded in 2019, Planetary – formerly Planetary Hydrogen – is led by an international team of engineers and scientists that has developed a process to safely purify alkaline rocks remaining after mining, then add the alkalinity to the ocean, which rapidly enhances the ocean’s natural ability to draw out and permanently sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The additional alkalinity in oceans locally restores the damage caused by increased acidification due to climate change. The purifying of mining rock also produces clean hydrogen as a by-product, which can be used as a zero-carbon fuel.

Planetary’s approach to ocean carbon dioxide removal is unique in the following ways.

  • Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere up to gigaton scale and sequestered for tens of thousands of years.
  • By essentially giving the ocean an antacid, the process can help heal local marine ecosystems harmed by climate change, improving natural growth in animals like coral and shellfish, leading to a better functioning food chain and a healthier regional economy.
  • Planetary’s process also creates green hydrogen as a by-product, which can be burned without carbon emissions, allowing carbon challenged industries to limit their use of fossil fuel.
  • It also extracts metals from mine waste that can be used in batteries, another important tool for a future low-carbon economy.

This funding will support the launch of Planetary’s pilot plants in Quebec and Nova Scotia, which will demonstrate a scaled version of its patented carbon removal process. The pilot plants will come online in phases beginning later this year and will be integrated with a major oceans research project in coordination with local partners to continually monitor the chemical and biological effects, and fine-tune Planetary’s process.

Planetary is currently selling 3,000 carbon credits with retirement dates of 2025-2027. The company has previously pre-sold carbon credits to Shopify, a leading provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce, based on carbon removal to be generated by Planetary's pilot plant later this year.

Planetary’s academic research partners include the University of Dalhousie and University of Miami Basico2 project, an XPRIZE Carbon Removal Student Award Winner. Based on the research of biogeochemist and Planetary Chief Technology Officer Dr. Greg Rau, Planetary’s carbon dioxide removal technology accelerates the earth’s natural carbon cycle, pulling carbon from the air and storing it as a natural component of ocean chemistry for up to 100,000 years.

Planetary is also testing its carbon transition platform with Brazilian Nickel PLC, a UK-based sustainable nickel and cobalt mining company. Using its technology Planetary is working with Brazilian Nickel to assist Brazilian Nickel on its decarbonization path.

Planetary has been recognized for its leadership in climate technology, receiving the OceanShot award from the Ocean Startup Project. The United Nations’ Blue Climate Initiative named Planetary as a semi-finalist for its Ocean Innovation Prize. Foresight Canada calls Planetary one of the most investable cleantech ventures. Planetary Co-Founder Brock Battochio was also named to Forbes’ 2022 30 under 30 Energy List.