Equatic: The startup that fights climate change through the electrolysis of seawater

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The fight against climate change is an urgent and crucial challenge today. In this context, the Californian startup Equatic has come up with an innovative solution. Through the electrolysis of seawater, Equatic not only removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ocean and air, but also produces hydrogen as an alternative fuel. This initiative has captured the attention of giants such as Boeing, which has already closed an agreement with the company.

Equatic’s technology: a combination of promising strategies

Equatic stands out from other startups by merging two novel strategies to combat climate change: capturing CO2 from air and water, and producing hydrogen as an energy source. As more and more companies seek to capture the CO2 generated by burning fossil fuels, and hydrogen is positioned as an alternative to oil and gas, Equatic encompasses both approaches in its technology. The company, which originated from a research initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), already has two pilot plants in Los Angeles and Singapore.

The process behind Equatic and its possible consequences

The process developed by Equatic involves passing an electrical current through seawater to separate its molecules and release hydrogen, used as fuel. In addition, the electrolysis of water involves a series of chemical reactions that mineralize CO2, turning it into calcium carbonate and magnesium bicarbonate. These minerals are released into the ocean to trap CO2 for thousands of years, thus preventing its release into the atmosphere and consequent global warming. However, some environmental advocates raise concerns about potential unforeseen effects on marine chemistry and life, particularly shell-building species already affected by ocean acidification.

Strategic alliances and financial support

Equatic has generated great interest in the industry and has secured alliances with major players. Boeing, for example, has signed an agreement to purchase 2,100 metric tons of hydrogen from Equatic, used in sustainable aviation fuels, and will also purchase 62,000 metric tons of carbon removal to offset its own carbon footprint. In addition, Equatic enjoys significant financial backing, having obtained more than $30 million in funding from entities such as the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Also noteworthy is the support of John Browne, former CEO of BP and current president of BeyondNetZero, who chairs the Equatic advisory board.

The challenge of scalability and costs

In order for Equatic to expand, the cost of carbon capture needs to be significantly reduced, which currently stands at $1,370 per ton of CO2. The startup aims to achieve a price of $100 per ton by 2028. It also plans to build a large-scale plant capable of capturing 100,000 tons of CO2 annually by 2026. These numbers far exceed the capacity of carbon capture plants. existing air, which positions Equatic as a leading player in this field.

The Equatic initiative represents a promising step forward in the fight against climate change. The combination of CO2 capture and hydrogen production shows a comprehensive approach to decarbonise the economy. However, it is essential to address concerns of possible environmental impacts and ensure rigorous monitoring of the process to avoid unintended consequences. Scalability and cost reduction are key challenges for Equatic to achieve a significant impact in reducing carbon emissions.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.