SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ebb Carbon – an ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) company founded by former Tesla, SolarCity, and Google X executives – has raised a $20 million Series A to develop and deploy its technology, which enhances and speeds the ocean’s natural ability to capture and permanently store CO2 from the atmosphere. This is the largest investment to date in an ocean-based carbon dioxide removal technology.
With this funding, Ebb will begin to deploy its first systems – one with the capacity to remove 100 tons of CO2 later this year, and a 1,000-capacity system shortly thereafter.
The $20 million Series A was raised across two closes, led by Prelude Ventures and Evok Innovations, respectively. The second close was completed at an increased valuation at the end of March. This adds to a previous seed funding round of $3 million, bringing the total raised to date to $23 million. Other investors in Ebb include Congruent, Grantham, and Incite.
“If we want to avoid the most drastic impacts of climate change, the science is very clear that we will need to remove billions of tons of already-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere,” said Ben Tarbell, CEO and Co-Founder of Ebb Carbon. “The ocean is a natural and vastly underutilized ally in this fight. Our approach combines capture and storage into one step, by accelerating naturally occurring processes that benefit from the immensity of the ocean’s surface area. This enables one of the lowest cost solutions for atmospheric CO2 removal at scale. We’re incredibly excited to have the support of our new investors and to deploy our first system in the coming months.”
“We are excited by the potential for Ebb to remove gigatonnes of CO2 annually,” said Gabriel Kra, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Prelude Ventures. “The team has previously demonstrated their abilities to build and scale industrial machinery, and has invented a technology that is a least-cost solution for ocean carbon dioxide removal.”
"What makes Ebb so impactful is its potential to address the many impacts of climate change, not just on land, but in our oceans as well," said Mike Biddle, Partner at Evok. "The company has a clear line of sight to removing billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere in the coming years, which will be an integral part of slowing global warming trends. At the same time, Ebb is addressing a less noticed impact of climate change on important ocean ecosystems that are integral to our collective futures. We're incredibly excited to support Ebb as they deploy and scale their unique technology."
Given the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere by humans, it is now not enough to only drastically reduce future carbon emissions. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), gigatons of already-emitted, legacy CO2 emissions must also be removed from the atmosphere in the coming years in order to meet climate targets and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Many CO2 removal technologies working to do this, such as Direct Air Capture (DAC), require separate methods of capture and storage — i.e. using engineered or natural substances to suck CO2 from the atmosphere and then extracting that CO2 from those materials for permanent storage in underground wells.
Using the ocean to remove atmospheric CO2 is unique from these other processes in that it combines the capture and storage of atmospheric CO2 into one step – streamlining the storage side of the equation, reducing energy consumption requirements, and creating one of the lowest cost pathways to removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Ebb has developed an electrochemical ocean alkalinity enhancement solution that is one of the most promising solutions to remove atmospheric CO2 at the gigaton scale, and has already secured commitments for the purchase of carbon removal credits from Stripe.
The ocean constantly absorbs and stores CO2 from the atmosphere. But rising levels of CO2 in the air are not only changing our climate, they are making our ocean more acidic, putting marine life and coastal communities at risk. Ebb's solution speeds up a natural process, called ocean alkalinization, which restores ocean chemistry and safely draws down CO2 and converts it to bicarbonate where it is safe and stable. While this process naturally occurs over millions of years, Ebb's proprietary electrochemical system accelerates it by rearranging the salt and water molecules in salt water into acid and slightly alkaline salt water solutions. Returning the alkaline salt water to the ocean mimics the natural alkalization process and creates a chemical reaction that pulls CO2 out of the air and converts it into bicarbonate, the ocean’s most abundant form of carbon storage. Bicarbonate is capable of sequestering CO2 for at least 10,000 years. The alkalinity that is returned to the ocean neutralizes the acid in seawater locally.
The Ebb system is modular and is designed to be sited near any industrial source of salty water, including desalination plants, aquaculture facilities, and manufacturing or energy production facilities that circulate ocean water for cooling. The system can also process seawater directly from the ocean.
Ebb was founded by a team of leading scientists, engineers, and seasoned climate tech entrepreneurs who collectively have over six decades of experience developing and scaling clean technologies at SolarCity, Tesla, and Google X. CEO Ben Tarbell led efforts to scale the solar industry as VP of Products at SolarCity, and led the team launching new climate technologies at Google X. CTO Dr. Matt Eisaman has spent over a decade researching and proving out the science behind the Ebb System. VP of Engineering Dave Hegeman spearheaded efforts to scale battery packs at Tesla for over a decade, and has extensive experience with maritime engineering. Chief Engineer Todd Pelman has brought hundreds of new products to market as the CEO of Manufactory, and has extensive experience with custom electrodialysis systems and maritime engineering.