Santa Fe startup combats climate change with tech designed to spur growth of phytoplankton – Albuquerque Business First

Santa Fe startup Ocean-based Climate Solutions Inc. says it’s using the earth’s own energy to replenish the planet with phytoplankton in the ocean.
Its technology “could be one of the leading technologies for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and getting back to a stable climate,” founder and CEO Philip Kithil told Business First. The technology facilitates what is called carbon sequestration, which refers to the capture and storage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Ocean-based’s platform uses thousand-foot-long plastic tubes dangling deep in the water where certain nutrients are. As the mechanism bobs up and down in the water, water travels up the tube, bringing the nutrients nearer to the surface, spurring the growth of phytoplankton.
Phytoplankton battle climate change by consuming carbon dioxide while producing oxygen, thereby reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases while providing breathable air. Each of Ocean-based’s water pumps are deployed with GPS and other sensors for remote tracking and monitoring, according to the company.
Ocean-based Climate Solutions was spun off of a separate carbon sequestration and water desalination company called Atmocean in 2018, Kithil said. Atmocean, also based in Santa Fe, was incorporated in 2006. Kithil founded Atmocean and also the spinoff, which focuses on climate change.
“[Climate change] just accelerated in around the 2018 timeframe with the worsening of the global environment due to CO2 emissions due to fossil fuels,” Kithil said. “So we just decided to refocus on that specific issue.”
The spinoff is also trying to commercialize what it calls a “stock for carbon” funding solution which allows public corporations to pay in stock rather than cash, according to its website.
Ocean-based reported it raised $50,000 from one investor in August, whereas Atmocean disclosed more than $380,000 in funding between 2009 and 2015, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. However, since 2005, more than $4 million has been raised for tech testing and refinement, according to Ocean-based’s website.
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