Current approaches to defossilise our planet won’t be enough — it’s time to complement CO2 reduction with CO2 elimination. That is why we decided to back 44.01.
While many of our current approaches focus on reducing emissions, new technologies can help us remove existing CO2 from our atmosphere. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that, if we are to achieve our net-zero targets, we need to remove 1 billion tons of the CO2 already present in our atmosphere by 2030. This CO2 needs to be captured from the atmosphere and then, ideally, stored forever.
One of the safest and most cost-effective ways of eliminating CO2 is carbon mineralisation, a natural process, where CO2 reacts with geological formations to become rock. 44.01 has found a way to mineralise CO2 in peridotite, a rock found in abundance across America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. Peridotite mineralisation is a natural process, but in nature, it can take decades to mineralise just a small amount of CO2. 44.01 speeds up the process, by injecting captured CO2 into peridotite formations deep underground, opening up the potential to eliminate up to a giga ton of CO2 every year.
An untapped treasure
44.01 operates in the Sultanate of Oman, which may not be well known as a hub for green innovation — yet — but offers an abundance of peridotite and perfect conditions for carbon capture and mineralisation technologies. As well as peridotite, Oman offers year-round sun (for solar energy), and world-class infrastructure for the energy transition. In time, Oman could become a hub for the large-scale deployment of other technologies such as direct air capture or industrial point source capture, enabling carbon removal at scale.
“We want to facilitate carbon capture companies, so we’re building the CO2 sinks here and operating a plug-and-play model. They come to our site, plug in, and using power on site, we can start taking it.”
Founders of 44.01 Talal Hasan, Karan Khimji, and Ehab Tasfai
44.01’s model offers the companies an attractive place to operate their plants. Working together, DAC + mineralisation can generate large quantities of valuable, verified carbon credits, which sell at a premium compared to traditional offsetting solutions. DAC companies such as Climeworks have identified this huge potential and partnered with 44.01. Our co-founding partner Tobias Seikel highlights:
“Currently, 44.01 is one of the few and already visible players in the carbon dioxide removal space able to offer high-quality sequestration in stone. We believe their technology is one of the most permanent options we have and could leverage the urgently needed scalability for other carbon removal technologies.”
Mineralizing one billion tonnes of CO₂ by 2040
Working with world-leading experts such as Professor Peter Keleman, a leading scientist in the field of CO2 capture and mineralization, and Juerg Matter, one of the original founding members of Carbfix, 44.01 has proved its approach works. The company’s first pilot sink showed that the technology works faster than expected, with no adverse impacts on the environment.
Customary to our Planet A investment process, we conducted our own environmental impact assessment before investing. Our life cycle assessment shows that 44.01 permanently stores much more CO2 per tonne captured than they emit to operate their processes. Their supply chain provides CO2 for sequestration with a high overall carbon removal efficiency ranging from 88 to 91%. This means that for each 1000 kg of CO2 captured and permanently sequestered only 90 to 120 kg CO2e are emitted to operate the full supply chain. Their strategic location in Oman offers a minimization of transportation distances and the use of energy from fully renewable sources. These are the biggest leavers to reduce environmental impacts.
Alongside Planet A, 44.01 was able to convince high-profile investors, such as Bill Gates’ fund Breakthrough Energy and Apollo Projects with their results. We are proud to partner with such passionate and driven environmentalists who are already making a difference in the fight against climate change.
Let’s turn carbon dioxide into rock. Forever.