UCLA and Equatic Embark on World’s Largest Ocean-Based CO2 Removal Initiative

UCLA and Equatic are taking a groundbreaking step in the fight against climate change with a full-scale ocean-based CO2 removal plant in Singapore. This initiative could remove thousands of metric tons of CO2 annually and pave the way for global commercialization.

UCLA’s startup Equatic and its Institute for Carbon Management are set to pioneer a full-scale demonstration plant in Tuas, Singapore that promises to be the world’s largest ocean-based facility for removing carbon dioxide from seawater.

This revolutionary project follows the acknowledgment of Equatic’s groundbreaking technology as one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2023. The technique not only extracts carbon dioxide from the ocean but also converts it into solid minerals, enabling the oceans to continue absorbing excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Additionally, it generates carbon-negative hydrogen, a clean fuel, marking a significant advancement in the battle against climate change..

Upon completion, the ambitious $20 million plant, supported by Singapore’s national water agency, the National Research Foundation and UCLA’s Institute for Carbon Management, will have the capacity to remove 3,650 metric tons (over 8 million pounds) of CO2 annually from both seawater and the atmosphere.

Gaurav Sant, Equatic co-founder and director of the Institute for Carbon Management at UCLA and the Pritzker Professor of Sustainability at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, emphasized the importance of collaboration and commitment in scaling such technologies.

“Scaling carbon removal solutions requires technology, bold and committed partners, and a focus on timely and measurable success,” Sant said according to this UCLA news release. “We have been very fortunate to create this shared vision with our partners in Singapore to scale Equatic’s solutions to the commercial scale and around the world.”

This large-scale operation is not just a technical demonstration but a precursor to broader commercialization plans. Highlighting the urgent need for such eco-innovations, the success of this venture could accelerate global adoption of similar technologies, contributing significantly to global carbon reduction efforts.

The involvement of multidisciplinary experts in this project exemplifies a promising stride towards mitigating climate impacts and setting the foundation for future environmental solutions on a global scale. The anticipated operational success of the Tuas plant heralds a new era of carbon management and renewable energy production, further cementing UCLA and Equatic’s role as leaders in sustainable innovation.