Germany/Brazil-HQed InPlanet is looking at the use of enhanced rock weathering, a chemical reaction that could enable large-scale CO2 removal from the atmosphere.
Rock weathering has accounted for the removal of most of Earth's carbon dioxide for most of its history. The process occurs because of a reaction of water and CO2, producing dissolved biocarbonates that wash into groundwaters and rivers, where they form carbon-rich sediments.
As rock weathering's chemical reaction uses CO2, the process could also be employed to absorb excess carbon.
InPlanet aims to serve agricultural land owners in the tropics, distributing suitable rock powder for rock weathering in tropical farms. This would also allow farmers to restore tropical soils as the substance could act as a decarbonised crop fertiliser in place of limestone, pesticides and synthetic soil fertilising products.
InPlanet is now announcing €1.2 million in pre-seed funds from a slate of impact investors, namely Carbon Removal Partners, Übermorgen Ventures, Trellis Road, Katapult VC and Carbon Drawdown Initiative.
The aim is set to begin preventing carbon megatonnes from entering the atmosphere by 2030. With the pre-seed capital, InPlanet is proposing to build a "scalable" enhanced rock weathering station in the tropics, starting with a 50,000 ton rock powder spread to remove 10,000 CO2 tons.
"In 2023, we plan 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."
InPlanet's scientific partners include agricultural academics at University of São Paulo and Universidade de Brasília. The startup is a participant of the Frontier Batch and ClimAccelerator programmes.
Harteneck added: "We are thankful for the support of our pre-seed investors and excited to use the funding to grow our current team.
"In 2023, we plan 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.”