Project Vesta is a non-profit, founded on Earth Day 2019, operating as part of Far Away Projects, a 501(c)(3).
We will do this using the power of natural wave energy at green sand beaches. Today, we know that reducing carbon dioxide emissions alone will not be enough to solve the climate crisis: we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fortunately, nature already has a way, billions of years old, to do this – by weathering volcanic minerals. When rain falls on volcanic rocks and washes them into the ocean, this causes a reaction which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and locks it up in limestone at the bottom of the ocean.
Project Vesta’s approach dramatically accelerates the carbonate-silicate cycle, an ancient natural process.
We make green-sand beaches with an abundant volcanic mineral, olivine. There, wave action speeds up the carbon dioxide capture process while de-acidifying the ocean.
Thirty years of scientific research has demonstrated that this works and has provided strong evidence that it is a highly affordable and scalable solution.
The process captures 20 times more carbon dioxide than the extraction and transportation of the olivine. If deployed on just 2% of global shelf seas, we could capture 100% of annual human carbon emissions.
Our mission is to further the science of enhanced weathering and galvanize global deployment. To that end, we are planning experiments to pilot green-sand beaches.
All scientists in the field are welcome to contribute to the design of these experiments, and all are welcome to analyze the resulting data.
Once we have finished the experiments and published the data, we will be able to deliver to the world a blueprint and integrated model for deploying green sand beaches.
The Enhanced Weathering Integrated Assessment Model (EWIAM) will enable any government or private organization to measurably remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at scale.
Project Vesta was born out of a climate change think-tank called Climitigation. This group investigated as many carbon capture solutions as possible, searching for one that had received too little attention and investment.
Climitigation found that coastal enhanced weathering was a process with enormous potential for cheap, permanent carbon capture at massive scale. Further, they found that the technology was stuck in the lab, despite real-life beach pilots being the clear next step.
No one was bringing together the combination of multidisciplinary science, government support, funding, and sheer force of will that would help this technology ‘cross the chasm’ between theory and maturity. Project Vesta was founded to do exactly this.
We are an open-source project. The work we do will be available to all in service of maximum speed and efficacy of global deployment. We are doing this for the planet, not for ourselves or for any individuals.
We are fundamentalists about our commitment to scientific rigor. We believe that the path to global scale is paved with robust science, transparency, and the credibility that comes from these.
We consider the entire life-cycle of the impacts of our actions. We aim to capture 20 times the CO2 we emit. We measure the ecological effects of our entire process from quarries to marine ecosystems, and wherever possible seek to have a regenerative effect on local ecosystems and communities.
Scale is paramount. Our goal is to remove tens of gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. We believe that to be seriously impactful, CO2 removal solutions must be able to achieve gigaton+ scale by 2030.
The team would like to thank R.D. Schuiling and Poppe De Boer, whose passion for olivine weathering and insightful research provided significant inspiration for the Project Vesta vision, and whose work in many ways continues to guide this promising field.