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ARPA-E awarding $36M to 11 projects for marine CO2 removal capture and storage (mCDR)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $36 million for 11 projects to accelerate the development of marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) capture and storage technologies. Funded through Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy’s (ARPA-E) Sensing Exports of Anthropogenic Carbon through Ocean Observation (SEA-CO2) program, these projects will support novel efforts to measure, report, and validate mCDR and identify cost-effective and energy efficient carbon removal solutions.

mCDR techniques take advantage of the ocean’s natural carbon capture and storage processes and, together with other carbon dioxide removal methods, have the potential to mitigate and remove hundreds of millions of tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions per year. mCDR takes place across large surfaces or volumes of the ocean over comparatively long periods of time.

The SEA-CO2 program recognizes that scalable, cost-effective technologies to measure, report, and validate various mCDR approaches are critical to developing this growing industry.

Selected projects include:

  • atdepth MRV will develop an ocean modeling system that utilizes graphical processing units, dramatically improving simulation modeling speed compared with traditional approaches that use central processing units. (Award amount: $2,524,964)

  • Bigelow Laboratory for Oceanic Sciences will develop a biogeochemical computer model that improves estimates of how the vast population of ocean zooplankton—tiny marine animals—move and lock away carbon in the deep ocean. (Award amount: $2,279,867)

  • [C]Worthy will develop a community framework for model building and data assimilation that would provide the structure and processes necessary to incorporate observations, manage model complexity, and meet the needs for accurate carbon accounting for mCDR. (Award amount: $3,884,825)

  • GE Research will develop a fiber optic sensor cable that would span multiple kilometers of ocean volume and measure chemical ocean carbon parameters over large areas when towed from marine vessels. (Award amount: $4,274,658)

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will develop a model and mesocosm experiments to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the marine carbon dioxide removal technique Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement throughout major coastal areas in the United States. (Award amount: $2,080,715)

  • University of Colorado will develop a system of optical underwater sensors utilizing broad-band lasers to sense and measure dissolved carbon compounds. (Award amount: $5,904,233)

  • University of Pittsburgh will develop buoy-based optical fiber sensors for measuring pH and carbon dioxide in seawater from the ocean’s surface to the seafloor. (Award amount: $2,274,859)

  • University of Texas at Austin will develop an acoustic sensor network to quantify ecosystem activity and how effectively carbon is stored in shallow seagrass beds, an important sink in the coastal blue carbon cycle. (Award amount: $2,034,903)

  • University of Utah will develop a micro-optical, micro-electronic seafloor probe that would extend the longevity and persistence of current-day seafloor carbon storage measurement tools. (Award amount: $2,004,554)

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will develop a system-on-a-chip for ocean carbon flux monitoring that would integrate the capabilities of several existing commercial sensors into a single miniature sensor chip, lightening the power requirements on ocean gliders and floats and significantly reducing costs. (Award amount: $3,738,960)

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will develop a natural thorium decay sensor that would attach to gliders, autonomous vehicles, and profiling floats to quantify the flux rates of particulate organic carbon to the deep ocean for marine carbon dioxide removal. (Award amount: $4,802,245)



LOL, none of the projects involve removing CO2. 😣

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