Carboniferous is rigorously testing it’s ABC’S in both laboratory and real world experiments. We’re working to experimentally verify that we achieve 1,000-year+ permanence and do not contribute to atmospheric methane release. Multiple lines of evidence are required to prove the method and monitor our operations. To read more - please see our Science section. If you view the yearly Mauno Loa time series of CO2 (on the right) you’ll see that each year there is a large annual variation in atmospheric CO2 levels. The variation is caused by the early growing cycle as plants absorb CO2 in the spring and summer, and then release that CO2 as they decompose in the winter. Our fundamental ‘job’ at Carboniferous is to determine if we can safely and permanently sequester this annual variation in Earth’s CO2 levels via ABC’S - effectively allowing nature to ‘heal herself’.
All biomass considered for use in ABC’S starts as crop products for human consumption. We believe choosing plants grown for human food is a good way to ensure we do not add anything unnatural to the oceans. To ensure safety we follow up with rigorous pesticide testing to ensure that there are no pesticides or chemicals added to the ocean - even though we are sourcing biomass from human food crops. We only sequester 100% plant derived material. We are happy to provide pesticide testing reports to government and commercial partners.
We care deeply about safety for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. ABC’S minimizes risks to benthic and deep-ocean animal communities by avoiding the environments in which they can live. Anoxic basins are also physically restricted, which means that any environmental impacts are localized and unable to spread over a large area. This dramatically reduces project risks relative to other pathways that operate in the open, interconnected, more physically dynamic ocean. Additionally, because microbes in this environment primarily respire sulfate, the environment will not experience major changes in oxygenation or pH, which are critical concerns in oxic systems. Finally, in contrast with CDR approaches that use marine biomass, ABC’S does not significantly perturb the marine nutrient cycle. On land, approaches are well established to manage and correct for the loss of the small quantities of nutrients trapped in the biomass materials.
Employee and worker safety is critical to us at Carboniferous. Working with heavy equipment and many tons of biomass brings inherent risk that we are always alert to and seek to mitigate. We work to establish a culture of safety to ensure we can keep our people safe while sequestering carbon at scale.
By purchasing from farmers, we spread out the financial benefit of CDR to larger communities, subsidize food costs, and encourage job creation across a large region.