Project Vesta is a non-profit, founded on Earth Day 2019. Our vision is to help reverse climate change by turning a trillion tonnes of CO2 into rock. We will do this using the power of natural wave energy at green sand beaches. Today, we know that reducing carbon dioxide emissions alone will not be enough to solve the climate crisis: we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fortunately, nature already has a way, billions of years old, to do this – by weathering volcanic minerals. When rain falls on volcanic rocks and washes them into the ocean, this causes a reaction which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and locks it up in limestone at the bottom of the ocean.
Project Vesta’s approach dramatically accelerates this ancient natural process. We make green-sand beaches with an abundant volcanic mineral, olivine. There, wave action speeds up the carbon dioxide capture process while de-acidifying the ocean. Thirty years of scientific research has demonstrated that this works and has provided strong evidence that it is a highly affordable and scalable solution. The process captures 20 times more carbon dioxide than the extraction and transportation of the olivine. If deployed on just 2% of global shelf seas, could capture 100% of annual human emissions.
Our mission is to further the science of enhanced weathering and galvanize global deployment. To that end, we are planning experiments to pilot green-sand beaches. All scientists in the field are welcome to contribute to the design of these experiments, and all are welcome to analyze the resulting data. Once we have finished the experiments and published the data, we will be able to deliver to the world a blueprint and integrated model for deploying green sand beaches. The Enhanced Weathering Integrated Assessment Model (EWIAM) will enable any government or private organization to measurably remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at scale.
The team would like to thank R.D. Schuiling and Poppe De Boer, whose passion for olivine weathering and insightful research provided significant inspiration for the Project Vesta vision, and whose work in many ways continues to guide this promising field.