C12 Energy has raised $4.5 million from Sequoia Capital and other undisclosed investors for its work in reducing the costs of routine carbon sequestration.
According to VentureWire, little is known about the stealth start-up’s technology, except that its chief scientist and co-founder, Kurt Zenz House, recently registered a patent for electrochemical weathering, a process that allows the ocean to effectively absorb carbon dioxide. Describing the process in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, House and co-authors said:
“By electrochemically removing hydrochloric acid from the ocean and then neutralizing the acid by reaction with silicate (volcanic) rocks, the researchers say they can accelerate natural chemical weathering, permanently transferring CO2 from the atmosphere to the ocean.”
C12 executives say commercialization of the project depends on placing a value on carbon emissions through widespread adoption of a carbon trading system.