Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is Carbon Time?

Carbon Impact is a SAS with a mission registered in Paris under the number 902042373. Carbon Time is the commercial name of Carbon Impact. Carbon Time is supported and created by the Team for the Planet citizen fund. Benefiting from the visibility, community and network of Team for the Planet, Carbon Time engages in activities related to environmental sustainability and the elimination of carbon dioxide, notably by supporting the development of ocean-based solutions, including Ocean Alkalinisation Enhancement solutions.

What means Carbon Dioxide Removal?

Carbon Dioxide Removal is the process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and trapping it for decades, centuries or millennia. The idea is to transform a short carbon cycle into a longer one. This could slow or limit climate change, but it is no substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Carbon removal is sometimes referred to as carbon dioxide removal (CDR) or negative emission technologies (NET). These include afforestation, reforestation, agricultural practices that sequester carbon in soils, wetland restoration and blue carbon approaches, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and ocean alkalinity enhancement. Determining whether a process achieves negative emissions requires a full life-cycle analysis, as well as monitoring, reporting and verification of the process by reputable third parties.

What is Ocean Alcalinization Enhancement?

Ocean alkalinization is a carbon-removal method that involves adding alkaline substances to seawater to strengthen the ocean's natural carbon sink. These substances can be minerals, such as olivine or carbonates, or artificial substances, such as lime or certain industrial by-products. Adding alkalinity to the ocean removes carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere through a succession of reactions that convert dissolved CO₂ into stable bicarbonate and carbonate molecules, causing the ocean to absorb more CO₂ from the air to restore balance.

What is the potential scale?

The oceans already contain around 38,000 billion tonnes of carbon. In theory, alkalinization of the oceans could eliminate several billion tonnes of CO₂ per additional year, the limit being mainly the application of alkaline substances: each tonne of elimination by alkalinization of the oceans requires the treatment of around 1 to 3.5 tonnes of material in the case of rock weathering.

What is the cost?

Cost estimates vary according to the technological approaches chosen and the geography of the sites.

What is the permanence?

The permanence of improved ocean alkalinization is estimated at over 20,000 years, combined with a low risk of reversibility. To be even more accurate, we're talking about transforming a short carbon cycle into a long one, thanks to the action of our best ally, the ocean. The low risk of reversibility means that, once removed, the carbon is unlikely to return to the atmosphere, making it a reliable and stable solution.

What are the risks?

The introduction of alkaline materials into the ocean can have secondary biogeochemical effects on ocean chemistry and marine ecosystems. In addition, some alkaline materials used for ocean alkalinization contain traces of heavy metals. These metals may be endangered and need to be monitored. The extent and nature of these effects in open environments are complex and require ongoing research and careful monitoring. Electrochemical technologies are less risky, but require energy. Each solution has its own set of advantages and risks which need to be taken into account to ensure the successful development of these solutions.

Why MRV is important?

MRV stands for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification. It is an essential part of the process that ensures that carbon dioxide removal is accurately monitored, documented and verified. This process underpins the integrity and reliability of the Carbon Dioxide Removal Certificates.

Why LCA is important?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is crucial for ocean alkalinization projects, as it provides a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impacts associated with all stages of the project life cycle. This includes assessment of raw material extraction and processing, transportation, operational processes and solution monitoring. LCA helps to identify areas where environmental impacts can be minimized, ensuring that the overall benefits of ocean alkalinization in terms of carbon removal and ocean health offset the negative impacts.

The Permitting Challenge?

Obtaining permits is the key stage in our operations, especially for pilot projects. By focusing initially on Europe, with its strict environmental regulations and difficult permitting process, we are developing specialized skills in this area. These strict European standards serve as a benchmark for our global deployment.

Why Responsible R&D is important?

Our R&D on ocean alkalinization is a rigorous effort to establish the technical feasibility of alkalinity enhancement as a method of sequestering atmospheric CO₂. We believe in responsible R&D, ensuring that the nature, scale, duration and intensity of developments are aligned with current knowledge of environmental impacts. In particular, Carbon Time has chosen to invest in partnerships with leading public research in this field, to ensure total ethics and transparency.

Intellectual Properties and Open source?

As well as promoting open science concepts, Carbon Time also protects its technological developments with open licensing concepts. In this way, we enable global adoption of our solutions by releasing part of our innovations under licensing models that encourage positive development.

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At the heart of our approach is the search for synergies - the fusion of science, technology and the vast potential of the ocean to create a sustainable future.  

Your ideas are essential to our progress. Whether you're full of questions, comments or visionary ideas ready to tackle our planet's pressing challenges, we value your voice. Committed to the spirit of collaboration, our team appreciates and encourages constructive feedback.

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