The patented Planetary Hydrogen technology uses renewable electricity to produce hydrogen via conventional electrolysis of water. Our innovation is that by adding ground alkaline rock, we force the electrolysis cell to also create an atmosphere-scrubbing compound called mineral hydroxide. That hydroxide actively binds with carbon dioxide, producing an “ocean antacid” very similar to baking soda.
The net effect is the direct air capture and storage of CO2 while producing valuable pure hydrogen. The system can consume as much as 40kg of CO2 and permanently stores it for every 1kg of hydrogen it produces.
This system accelerates “The Earth’s Natural Thermostat” which is the geological process that removes excess CO2 from the atmosphere via rock weathering that is otherwise very slow and inefficient. Excess CO2 in the atmosphere acidifies rainwater that on contact with alkaline minerals (exposed on much of the Earth’s land surface), dissolves the rock and consumes CO2, forming dissolved mineral bicarbonate which is washed into the ocean. This process is the reason that some 90% of the Earth’s surface carbon is in this form as seawater bicarbonate. While effective as a moderator of excess atmospheric CO2, it can take 100,000 yrs for the preceding process to naturally return atmospheric CO2 to “normal” levels.
Unfortunately we don’t have 100,000 years to avoid the worst consequences of our CO2 emissions and we’re still emitting massive quantities. That’s why our process is so important and unique. It not only dramatically speeds geologic consumption of CO2, by using renewable energy it also avoids the emissions associated with a central and growing component of the world’s energy and fuel system, H2.