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Exclusive: Planetary raising $10M for ocean carbon removal

Illustration of a dollar bill that reads "CO2" and has an earth in the middle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Carbon removal developer Planetary Technologies is raising about $10 million in a Series A to add antacids made from industrial byproducts into the Earth's oceans, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Planetary is one of 15 startups to receive a $1 million grant from Elon Musk's X Prize competition.

Catch up fast: The ocean is the Earth's biggest carbon sink, absorbing roughly 30% of humanity's heat-trapping emissions.

  • All that carbon is making the ocean more acidic, restricting how much heat-trapping gas it can absorb.

Big picture: Planetary is adding antacid to the ocean to reduce its acidity.

How it works: Instead of dumping material off some pier or the side of a ship, the startup installs its equipment at power plants, water treatment facilities, and other industrial sites that discharge water into the ocean.

  • "These plants are already using this kind of alkalinity to adjust acidity," CEO Mike Kelland tells Axios. "The process works under existing permits."

Of note: A pilot project at a power plant in Halifax improved ocean carbon removal at a rate of 12,000 tons per year, Kelland says.

Details: Planetary, based in Nova Scotia, began raising the Series A in November. It aims to close by the end of Q1 in March.

  • It previously raised $5 million in equity investments, plus $7 million in non-dilutive capital, including the X Prize award in 2022.

What's next: Planetary plans to install its tech at three more sites, including one in Virginia.

  • It intends to generate revenue by licensing the tech and creating and selling carbon credits.
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