Ledgy, the capital markets technology platform for scaling companies, has partnered with oceanic carbon capture startup SeaO₂, in the latest example of a new innovation-led approach to offsetting carbon emissions.
Instead of pledging arbitrary sums of money to the murky offsets market, Ledgy is making a strategic investment to help fund SeaO₂’s first prototype carbon extraction plant, an approach that underscores Ledgy’s commitment to seeking out innovative research-led solutions to tackling the climate crisis.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, SeaO₂ was founded in 2021 by CEO Ruben Brands, CTO Dr. Rose Sharifian and Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. David Vermaas.
SeaO₂ focuses on ocean-based carbon dioxide (CO₂) removal technology. One third of all global carbon emissions are bound up in our seas and oceans. Additionally, the concentration of carbon in the ocean is more than 150 times higher than in the air, making oceanic carbon capture technology a potent weapon in the fight against climate change.
SeaO₂’s prototype, situated in the North Sea, uses electrodes to lower the pH level of water flowing through SeaO₂’s membrane. The treated water then releases gaseous CO₂. Once decarbonised, the water is directed back to the surface to mix with air and return to its natural pH level. The captured carbon is then permanently stored underground.
Ledgy has invested an initial €21,750 ($23,722) to pre-purchase six tons of carbon captured from SeaO₂’s first prototype, launching from the REDstack renewable energy plant at the Afsluitdijk dam in the Netherlands this month. The initial prototype has the capacity to extract one ton of carbon per year, and SeaO₂ is on track to launch its second ‘pilot plant’ – which will extract 250 tons of carbon per year – by the end of 2023.
Ben Brandt, Ledgy co-founder and Chief Product Officer, said: “As a scaling company ourselves, Ledgy’s emissions as a business are increasing. Obviously reducing our emissions is the first and most important step, but we also want to invest in high-quality, durable carbon removal. There are well-known issues with many of the available cheap nature-based carbon credits, which often have durability or scaling challenges. The market of high-quality removal credits right now is still supply constrained, and by supporting SeaO2 we are helping to create more supply.
“Our commitment to SeaO₂ represents a price per ton of €3,375, which is a pretty high price by market standards. But by validating SeaO₂’s commercial model, and investing in the R&D behind SeaO₂’s next pilot plant, we’re confident that the investment will mean SeaO₂ can offer competitive pricing in the future. Essentially, we’re one of the Tesla Roadster customers paving the way for the development of the Model 3.
“What excited us about SeaO₂’s business model was the team’s clear progression plan from a first working prototype this spring through to extracting thousands of tons per year by 2025. At Ledgy we believe that entrepreneurs are going to be central to solving the world’s most pressing challenges. That’s why we think opting to contribute early on to SeaO₂’s research and development is a more worthwhile way to compensate for our emissions as a company, aiming for maximum long-term impact instead of short-term offsets and grand claims of carbon neutrality.”
Ruben Brands, SeaO₂ CEO and co-founder, said: “We are delighted to have Ledgy’s support as we go to market with our first prototype. By pre-purchasing offsets, Ledgy is investing in our innovative model for carbon capture, which has been patented and thoroughly laboratory tested and is now launching with our North Sea prototype. It’s essential to have forward-thinking partners like Ledgy on the journey with us as we scale up to extract thousands of tons of carbon from our seas and oceans in the years ahead.”
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