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Today we met with Dan Deviri, Co-founder and CEO at CarbonBlue 

The Climate Journey   

Dan, who has a background in biological physics and earned his PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science, founded CarbonBlue with Iddo Tsur. His goal was to utilize his scientific training to bring about positive change, with a specific focus on climate issues. Dan knew that climate is a crucial concern for the future of our planet, influencing everything from personal consumer choices to international politics. Reconnecting with Iddo after their service in the military, the two decided to found CarbonBlue together. 


Carbon Blue 

Founded in 2022, CarbonBlue's goal is to help companies offset their carbon emissions and earn carbon credits by removing CO2 directly from seawater. CarbonBlue's carbon removal solution takes seawater containing dissolved atmospheric CO2 and pumps it into a reactor which extracts the CO2, mineralizing it into solid limestone. Then, using heat, a second reactor removes CO2 from the limestone. The stream of removed CO2 is then used as an industrial feedstock, or sequestered in geologic formation granting a tradable carbon credit by the ton. 

The CarbonBlue Team

 We asked Dan a series of questions. 


Q: Can you tell me about Carbon Blue and your technology?  

Dan: CarbonBlue's focus is on developing advanced technology to efficiently and effectively remove carbon dioxide from the environment. The company's approach is different from traditional carbon capture methods, which attempt to remove CO2 directly from the air. Instead, CarbonBlue draws inspiration from a Google X project that explored an idea called direct ocean carbon capture. Using this method, CarbonBlue removes carbon dioxide from seawater, which has a higher concentration of CO2 than the atmosphere. The process involves mixing seawater with calcium hydroxide, which then interacts with dissolved carbon dioxide and forms a solid precipitate of limestone. The company's proprietary reactor accelerates this process by 1000 times when compared to conventional reactors. The resulting CO2 is then removed from the water, which is returned to the ocean to absorb more atmospheric carbon dioxide. The solid calcium carbonate is decomposed back into calcium hydroxide and CO2 in a second reactor, and the entire process is fully recycled, only requiring a source of energy to continue perpetually. CarbonBlue's technology is compact, cost-effective, and has the added benefit of mitigating ocean acidification. 


Q: How does your business model connect to carbon markets? 

We’re looking at the carbon credits market, but in order to be eligible for carbon credits, we need to durably sequester the carbon dioxide. In Israel, where we are located, there aren't any ways to do that, so we're collaborating with other companies, which can use the carbon in different ways, to form a mutual pilot. We plan to construct a facility abroad by 2026, which would be connected to a geo-sequestration site. The carbon dioxide removed from the seawater would be moved on to be sequestered underground, and then we can create carbon credits to sell.  


Q: What stage are you at now? 

Dan: We have two core reactors: a mineralization reactor, and a regeneration reactor, which have been thoroughly tested in our laboratories. We’re now integrating them and all necessary equipment to form a full pilot that will remove carbon dioxide on a larger scale, outside of the lab. The plan is to construct the pilot this year, and have it up and running, working at   the kiloton scale by next year. We want to build it in Israel because there is water, plenty of energy, industrial CO2 users, and very rich human resources.  


Q: What are some main barriers that you’re facing? 

Dan: Regulation is a major obstacle, particularly in terms of obtaining permits to pump seawater and navigating the regulatory landscape. Additionally, lack of government incentives in Israel is also an obstacle, though # a minor one since startups in Israel often look outside of Israel’s borders for funding. However, it is difficult for our small and lean company to hire advisors to navigate the regulatory landscape. In 2021-2022, when carbon dioxide removal became a trend, it was easy for venture capital to deploy money on the premise that those markets would form in the future. However, now, VC money flows mainly toward innovation that increases efficiency or reduces emissions, rather than capturing carbon dioxide, for which the financial incentives are still evolving. Therefore, I expect more government support in Israel, which is currently problematic.  


Q: Where will CarbonBlue be in 5 years? 

Dan: We, like other carbon dioxide removal companies, want to remove as much carbon dioxide as possible from the ocean and absorb it from the atmosphere as soon as possible. We want to scale up and deploy our technology in as many places as possible to make a significant impact on global emissions.  


Q: What makes your team a super team? 

Dan: I credit our success to our team of engineers, who were able to turn our vision into reality. We were able to find the right talent in Israel, because there is a disproportionate amount of talented individuals here. Overall, I believe that having the right talent and working 24/7 on our startup were the keys to our success. 


Q: If you had one tip to give to other climate tech entrepreneurs, what would it be? 

Dan: Just start working on your idea, even if you don't think it's perfect. Try to raise money to alleviate financial burdens and be bold with your ideas. Living the idea and constantly thinking about it will lead to better ideas and ways to improve it, rather than trying to perfect it from an outside perspective. 


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