Deploying olivine into natural marine environments requires a comprehensive understanding of diverse environmental and socioeconomic dimensions across different scales.
Test the local effects of olivine in a wider range of marine ecosystem environments, and build a broader dataset on weathering rates, in order to refine our Integrated Assessment Model and Life Cycle Analysis.
We'll scale deployment to larger, country-level interventions, while continuing to validate the science and monitor performance. We hope to enable participating countries to meet their emissions targets through CCC.
With successful at-scale deployments in multiple regions, countries and groups of countries could take advantage of optimal geography and collaborate to more efficiently scale up mining and distribution.
It will take the whole planet to save the planet. Olivine is located all over the world, and a global effort will unite countries with varying resources, labor, skills, and coastlines in order to deploy infrastructure for CCC.
With our first pilot experiments, we are testing the effect of incrementally adding olivine to an existing beach ecosystem to quantify the effect the reaction has on both the acidity of the water and on the organisms in it. With this pilot demonstration beach, we will conduct the first ever in situ study of an artificially-created olivine beach.
We will test the hypothesis that olivine is safe for marine organisms, measure the impact on local marine ecosystems, model the real-life weathering rate of olivine, and learn about the logistics of deploying olivine.
At the end of Phase 1, we intend to demonstrate that olivine is safe in at least two marine environments indicating the need for further study in a broader range of environments.
In order to gather all the necessary data rapidly and in a cost effective manner, we plan to build a mobile analysis laboratory, housed in a shipping container so it can be transported to future beach sites. This will dramatically reduce the cost of analysis and future deployment.
Approximate total CDR scale: ~100 tonnes
In our Phase 2 follow-on experiments, we will have in-situ deployment of olivine on multiple pilot beach sites with varying characteristics. This phase will support the expansion of our dataset on the safety and weathering rate of olivine, in order to refine our Coastal Carbon Capture Integrated Assessment Model (CCCIAM) and Life Cycle Analysis. We will test safety of olivine in a range of marine ecosystem environments, and test for optimal olivine dissolution rates among varying grain sizes.
At the end of Phase 2, we intend to demonstrate that olivine is safe in multiple additional marine environments, with a quantified and optimized weathering rate, indicating that a phased roll-out of larger-scale olivine deployments can now be conducted.
Approximate total CDR scale: 100-1,000 tonnes
In Phase 3, we intend to have multiple at-scale deployments in initial regions in which safety has been confirmed, including country-level interventions, which will be designed to support participating countries in meeting their emissions targets. Project Vesta will continue to monitor the performance of our initial deployments, gathering additional long-term datasets.
In addition, Phase 3 will initiate the deployment of small-scale pilot deployments in new regions. At the end of Phase 3, we hope to have successful at-scale deployments in multiple regions.
Approximate total CDR scale: 10,000 - 100,000 tonnes
With the science, safety and speed demonstrated in a variety of distinct environments in Phase 4, Project Vesta hopes to support entire regions in an effort to work together to deploy CCC, harnessing the advantage of the varying global distributions of resources, labor, and geography. By working together, regions can reach a scale that dramatically pushes down the price per ton of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. CO2 put out by one country affects the atmosphere of all countries, so it makes sense to work together toward a common goal and to hold each other accountable for our emissions.
As an example, in the case of Western Europe, there is an opportunity for countries to team up to offset a greater amount of CO2 than their output. There is an area of the ocean just off the coast of the UK, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, known as the Southern Bight of the North Sea. This area has extremely strong underwater currents (known as bed shear stress forces) that are capable of sediment transport that could essentially tumble olivine underwater without the need for beaches.
Approximate total CDR scale: 1 million - 10 million tonnes
Project Vesta is based on research demonstrating that there are no insurmountable impediments to scaling this form of carbon dioxide removal all the way up to the level of annual global CO2 emissions removal. We have more than adequate olivine reserves, mining abilities, and applicable coastlines - it just takes the coordination and deployment of resources.
In Phase 5, with the science verified and an open-source Coastal Carbon Capture Integrated Assessment Model (CCCIAM) as a tool for all to use, we hope the globe can unite, with many governments and organizations working to deploy this solution.
Approximate total CDR scale: 100+ million tonnes