Coastal Carbon Capture with Olivine Sand

Olivine is a mineral that is able to absorb carbon dioxide in a 1:1 ratio of its own mass when it is ground up and scattered in a process called mineral carbonation. This process can be applied on coastal shores to have considerable positive effects for carbon capture. Currently, Tom Green and Kelly Erhart from Project Vesta are a leading group in this initiative and estimate that olivine sand could sequester carbon for as little as $35/tonne. Their initiative would also help in deacidifying the ocean and providing shoreline resistance to increasing sea levels.

For more information about Olivine, see below:

0) Olivine Wikipedia page

1) Information about Olivine Sand and its relation to Carbon Sequestration

a) Dezeen: ““One tonne of Olivine sand can take in up to one tonne of CO2” says Teresa van Dongen“, by Marcus Fairs, Jun. 15, 2021

b) Tom Green and Cody Simms discuss on the MCJ Podcast “Coastal Carbon Capture with Vesta”, Sept. 27, 2022

“Tom and Cody have a great chat about the many stakeholders at play in the projects they consider, from local communities and scientists to the impact on various types of sea life itself, and the ecotoxicology studies that Vesta produces. They also talk about the nature of olivine and how Vesta sources it, plus how the company determines what shorelines are a good target for coastal carbon capture. If you’re interested in carbon removal generally or nature-based solutions, this one’s for you.”

c) ClimateKIC: “Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots“, May 15, 2020

d) ACS Publications: “Olivine Dissolution in Seawater: Implications for CO2 Sequestration through Enhanced Weathering in Coastal Environments“, by Francesc Montserrat et al., Mar. 10, 2017

e) NRDC: “Olivine: Carbon Eater?“, by Brian Palmer, Mar. 07, 2015

f) We Are Carbon: “Coastal Carbon Capture-Accelerating Mineral Weathering” Podcast, by Helen Fisher featuring Kelly Erhart (co-founder of Project Vesta), Jul. 28, 2022

g) Vesta: “Vesta Coastal Carbon Capture Pilot Launch – Long Island, NY“, Jul. 27, 2022

h) DW Planet A: “Can we trick the ocean into swallowing more CO2?“, Sep. 30, 2022

i) India Science: “Can An Abundant Green Mineral Capture CO2 From The Atmosphere? –EXPLAINED!“, Sep. 1, 2021

j) TedxTalk: “How a volcanic mineral could save the planet”, by Tom Green, Jan. 4, 2022

k) Global Newswire: “Olivine Powder and Olivine Sand Market 2022-2028: Industry Trends and Investigation Growth Rate, consumption by Regional data, Product & Application Segmentation, Key Companies a Showing Impressive Growth“, by Proficient Market Insights, Nov. 10, 2022

2) Companies that produce, distribute, and sell Olivine Sand

a) Vesta, San Francisco, CA
“[They] add the natural mineral olivine, milled down to beach-compatible sand, to coastal protection projects. There, it gradually dissolves in the seawater, reducing ocean acidity and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

b) SibelcoAntwerp, Belgium
“Sibelco is a global material solutions company. [They] mine, process and sell industrial minerals at locations worldwide, focused primarily on silica, clays, feldspathics and olivine. [They] are also leaders in glass recycling.”

c) Steinsvik Olivin, Lauvstad, Norway

d) Fieldcode, Nuremberg, Germany
A software development company that is working on an olivine project to help reduce carbon emissions and help reach their climate positivity vision

e) Greensand, Enkhuizen, Netherlands
“[They] have developed products from olivine-rich rocks with which [they] can replace almost all current sand and stone applications. In this way, [they] offer sustainable and climate-proof alternatives for, among other things: walking paths, parking spaces, potting soil, lime, etc.”