Innovative Startup InPlanet Carbon Sequestration Secures €1.2 Million Pre-Seed Funding
A new startup that has developed a new technology called enhanced rock weathering has just received €1.2 million in pre-seed funding.
When most people think of carbon sequestration, they tend to think of trees and how they absorb carbon from our atmosphere and store it in the trunks of their bodies. However, they are not the only natural actors working in nature to help remove carbon from our atmosphere. As it turns out, rocks have been doing the same thing in the form of weathering.
Weathering is a natural process where water, wind, or cold and hot temperatures slowly break down the rock matter into smaller particles. As this happens, carbon in the atmosphere gets trapped in little pieces, eventually deposited onto the ocean floor. This has been happening for millions of years, and now recently, a new startup seeks to accelerate and scale this process up to the level of industrial application for agriculture. InPlanet is a German-Brazilian company that has just received 1.2 million euros in pre-seed funding to apply its enhanced rock weathering (ERW) technology.
InPlanet began out of a desire from the co-founder, Felix Harteneck, to effectively offset the carbon footprint of the two other technology companies he co-founded. As a result, InPlanet was born and began its journey of developing an innovative technology that expands upon nature’s good work on its own to help sequester carbon.
The technology is beneficial beyond its environmental applications; it also is regenerative for crops, meaning that it can be used as a natural fertilizer in agriculture, saving farmers’ costs and preventing the use of damaging fertilizers that are often used, but in the long run degrade the quality of the soil.
They decided to begin their applications in Brazil due to the favourable climate and soil conditions for this carbon dioxide removal (CDR) method. However, their road ahead may be rockier than expected, as they are still finding reliable methods of tracking and testing its effectiveness. They have partnered with Carbonfuture, a digital CDR tracking platform, as part of their Catalyst program.
The initiative supports startups looking to tackle climate change uniquely and innovatively through access to revenue and advice from carbon market experts. Carbonfuture provides an industry-leading method of monitoring, tracking, and verifying (MRV) the results of carbon removal projects. With support from the Catalyst program, InPlanet has been able to test and scale effective MRV methods for its ERW projects.
According to Harteneck, InPlanet’s goal for 2023 is “to spread 50,000 tons of rock powder to remove 10,000 tons of CO2. This will allow us to generate unique and scientifically valuable data to understand the weathering process in the tropics even better.” Now that it has received the funding it needs, InPlanet is much closer to getting to its goals set for this year. CDR technologies are of vital importance in limiting our global carbon output, and ERW seems to be one of the most promising developments in the field.
Continuing humanity’s global carbon production will be something that continues to happen for a long time. However, that doesn’t mean we may be as excessive as we are today. New technologies to help us reach our climate goals are necessary, but what is remarkable is that simply expanding upon what nature already does can potentially become one of the most effective ways to curb our global carbon footprint.
The benefits of how we conduct agriculture are notable, especially considering the damage that current agriculture does to our environment is increasingly apparent. EDW is something that can potentially change our world for the better, so it is fantastic to see that the investment in InPlanet is going forward.
Hopefully, in conjunction with other programs and technologies in the works, the cleaner, brighter actions we take now will be cemented into our future.