Wave power firm renews focus on carbon capture

Atmocean’s wave energy buoy and pump (Photo: Atmocean)

US-based developer Atmocean has started exploring options of using wave energy-powered solutions to enable carbon sequestration.

Atmocean said it will add Ocean Surface Carbon Relocation (OSCAR) technology to its suite of ocean energy solutions as part of its operational expansion.

OSCAR is an ocean pump designed to send carbon rich surface water into deeper water where it is sequestered for decades to centuries, according to Atmocean.

Carbon sequestration is the process involved in carbon capture and the long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The technology uses wave energy and salinity-gradients to pump surface ocean to below 1,000-meter depth where the carbon is isolated.

Atmocean first focused on this concept from 2006-2009, but following the failure of the 2009 UN COP-15 Summit in Copenhagen to implement a global price on carbon, the company pivoted towards pumping seawater towards shore as input into reverse-osmosis desalination systems.

Philip Kithil, CEO of Atmocean, said: “Since that time, CO2 emissions have continued to accumulate in the environment, amplifying global climate change and reviving interest in Atmocean’s legacy technologies.

“Accordingly, Atmocean recently completed a study with Sandia National Laboratories to review the idea of using seawater downwelling pumps to deliver surface water into the deeper ocean. Initial findings justify further evaluation and testing of this new approach to sequestering CO2.”

Atmocean is currently conducting sea trials of its nearshore Waverider pump together with the College of North Atlantic in Canada in a project that aims to develop a land based integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) system.

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