Our goal is to help reverse climate change. We are committed to careful, robust research to understand the fundamental risks and impacts of Coastal Carbon Capture (CCC). Every phase in our incremental approach only progresses forward if our data indicates a reasonable and safe path. We want to move quickly, but only as quickly as is consistent with rigorous research. We are scientists first and foremost, and we hold the scientific method and the health of the oceans in the highest possible regard. By conducting strategic, interdisciplinary research with our university and institutional collaborators, we will help expedite the path to CCC scale-up without compromising our work. We invite feedback and accountability from the global community on our journey to carbon dioxide removal.
Project Vesta's work is overseen by an Independent Review Board.
Phase I consists of foundational research to understand the diverse environmental and socioeconomic factors of CCC. This phase includes modeling studies, laboratory experiments, pilot site evaluations, pilot site baseline sampling and social and psychological studies.
For each site, Phase II only moves forward if the Project Vesta team, together with our local partners and Independent Review Board, determine that the data obtained in Phase I indicate the necessary safety and efficacy of CCC required to conduct a small pilot demonstration of olivine.
If safety, efficacy and economic assessments are positive, Phase III will scale up olivine deployment over a larger area in the region.
As deployments move into the million tonne scale, sites have the potential to span borders. Project Vesta aims to collectively work with multiple participating countries to explore how carbon emissions targets may be achieved collaboratively.
We believe that it will take the whole planet to save the planet. Our aim is to ignite a global effort that will unite countries leveraging their unique resources to deploy infrastructure for CCC.
Our initial research is designed and conducted by a global consortium of researchers across different institutions from the social and environmental sciences. These studies encompass model development, laboratory experiments, naturally occurring olivine beach research, social science research, and characterization of potential pilot field sites. Although Project Vesta is working at the global level, field trials necessitate site-specific approaches that are co-developed with local communities and organizations.
We have developed an impact assessment to evaluate how Coastal Carbon Capture (CCC) may affect a deployment area. Prior to olivine placement, our scientists and collaborators will collect baseline data of the site's biological, ecological, geological, chemical, and physical factors. Using these data, laboratory and modeling experiments will be conducted to derive first principles of processes such as the rate of olivine weathering and olivine-sediment transport across the proposed site. In addition, we will collaborate with social scientists, policy experts, and local organizations to develop site-specific social licensing frameworks. Project Vesta will also engage with local municipalities to explore the best method of olivine deployment sites for safety and efficacy, we will also conduct life cycle assessments and engage with stakeholders in regional supply chains.
At the national and global scale, Project Vesta is working to understand how our approach can positively influence policy efforts as legislatures establish or update their carbon emissions reduction targets. The timeline for baseline research at each site can vary depending on numerous factors noted above.
Approximate total CDR scale: ~100 tonnes
Initiation of Phase II is assessed on a per-site basis. During Phase II a small amount of olivine is deployed to examine the in-situ olivine weathering rate and any impacts on the local region. All parameters established in Phase I will be extensively monitored in Phase II to examine changes over time. This will generate critical data to conduct comparative studies on CCC safety and efficacy between sites.
Beaches can significantly differ across social and environmental dimensions including factors like population density, socioeconomic landscape, political regimes, mineralogy, biodiversity, physics, chemistry, etc. Hence, our aim is to leverage multiple, small-scale deployments with minimum impacts to serve as proxies in understanding safety, efficacy, life cycles, and costs prior to large-scale deployments.
Approximate CDR scale ( <1000 tonnes)
Since Project Vesta is exploring multiple sites, this phase will involve multiple scaling deployments each with their own set of logistics and considerations.
At this phase, we aim to not only deepen our relationship with regional communities but also to work with participating countries at the federal level to help them meet their emissions targets. Project Vesta will continue to monitor the performance of our initial deployments to grow our long-term datasets and refine our approach for future sites.
Approximate total CDR scale: 10,000 - 100,000 tonnes
Million tonne scale deployments are necessary to achieve sufficient carbon removal targets produced by the IPCC reports. This scale can involve many large stakeholders at the country level. Project Vesta hopes to support international regions in an effort to work together to deploy CCC. Through collaboration, regions can reach a scale that dramatically reduces the price per ton of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. Because country-level CO2 emissions in turn affect all countries, our mission is to help provide a collaborative bridge to realize gigaton-scale carbon removal through CCC.
Approximate total CDR scale: 1 million - 10 million tonnes
Olivine is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth. It has naturally sequestered CO2 from the atmosphere for billions of years and enabled life to thrive. Project Vesta sees the potential to galvanize an international ecosystem of participating countries to enhance this natural process. Through the global supply of olivine, along with technological development in recent decades, we have more than enough olivine reserves, mining capabilities, and applicable coastlines to bring CCC to the gigaton scale.
Hence, we believe that more than technology, CCC will require working together at an unprecedented scale towards a common horizon. Building connectivity across global cultures will be paramount to achieve carbon removal targets worldwide. Project Vesta commits to supporting other efforts to scale carbon capture through collaboration and partnership. We call on the community to hold us accountable and provide feedback as we move forward. We are humbled by the support we have received so far and look forward to co-creating a more regenerative and inclusive future.
Approximate total CDR scale: 100+ million tonnes.
Project Vesta has an Independent Review Board, chaired by Will Burns of American University and consisting of three sub-committees (Scientific, Legal & Financial, Public Engagement).
The Committee seeks to ensure that Project Vesta’s research program:
- Comports with the highest standards of scientific rigor, integrity, and transparency;
- Complies with all pertinent laws and regulations in the proposed initial field experiment’s venues, and;
- Effectively engages the public in exploring the potential role of Coastal Carbon Capture to address climate change, as well as potential benefits and risks associated with this approach at the field test site.
The Committee is entirely independent of Project Vesta (including its funding). Its recommendations and assessment of scientific results will be published on the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy’s website.