After four years of testing at its 3-hectare research facility in Morocco, British startup Brilliant Planet is preparing to build a 30-hectare commercial demonstration facility in Morocco, which would make it the one of the largest in the world.
By using seawater and replicating the ideal growth conditions for algal blooms, the company has created what it believes to be the perfect conditions for low-cost carbon capture. After taking seawater and allowing the growth of algae that capture CO2, the company takes the algae and returns the water to the ocean.
“We are using underutilized natural resources to grow new biomass and absorb excess carbon dioxide,” said Raffael Jovine, chief scientist and co-founder of Brilliant Planet. “Per unit area, this approach can sequester up to 30 times more carbon per year than tropical forests, while deacidifying local coastal seawater to pre-industrial levels,” he points out.
Solar panels provide the energy needed to move the seawater. “We have a partnership with the University of Southampton to optimize every aspect of the paddle wheels and tanks. A lot of time and effort has gone into minimizing the energy cost, but fundamentally we need to raise the water from ocean level to a few meters above sea level,” explained Adam Taylor, CEO from Brilliant Planet.
The farms are also taking advantage of the latest advances in sensor technology, high-frequency satellite monitoring and industrial automation, to meet the algae’s needs with the utmost precision.
The company recently announced that it has closed a $12 million Series A funding round. The seed round was jointly led by Union Square Ventures and Toyota Ventures.