Current Grants

2024 Grantees

Bluemethane (www.bluemethane.com) is a UK start-up aimed at harvesting methane from wastewater treatment plants and other aquatic sources. Its project will take place at the United Utilities wastewater treatment plant in southern England. It uses mechanical agitation of wastewater in a Bluemethane-developed machine called Harvey to extract the high-concentration methane so it can be recovered and used as biogas. CIEIF’s funding will enable a comprehensive EIA, including ongoing monitoring, covering all potential impacts of this technique. It does so under a detailed framework Bluemethane developed that will be applicable, with some adaptations, to other aquatic methane capture projects in the future.

Exaquest Carbon (https://exaquest.org) is a California nonprofit organization founded in 2020 with the mission to develop open-source technologies for scalable and cost-effective carbon dioxide removal (CDR). It developed a method – “BioSink”- which involves collecting waste ​dead wood and mechanically lowering it to a depth of 800 ft in the ocean. In minutes, the ​hydrostatic pressure at that depth causes the wood to become waterlogged and then sink on its own thousands of feet to the seafloor below. Once at the seafloor, carbon in the wood stays out of ​contact with the atmosphere for more than 1,000 years. The huge abyssal plains of ​the ocean floor are up 12,000 feet deep and remote from human activity. CIEIF’s grant will allow Exaquest to conduct a detailed predictive EIA of the potential localized impacts to be used for a permit application to the EPA. This will include two trips for collecting and analyzing ocean floor sediments, marine biology, water chemistry, and other parameters at the proposed sinking location, 140 miles off the Southern California coast.

Floating Island International (www.floatingislandinternational.com). FII is an established Montana company with systems to clean freshwater ecosystems, which now seeks to remove methane from dam reservoirs and other aquatic sources. It has developed a system that prevents methane emissions being generated by nutrient-impaired freshwater and captures dissolved methane before it enters the atmosphere. Behind many typical hydroelectric dams, which abruptly halt the natural flow of water, organic sediments build up in the reservoir and oxygen is depleted as the sediments decay. This results in anoxic conditions, thus allowing methanogens to generate biogenic methane. Leveraging FII’s experience with water/air circulation pumps and gas and nutrient capturing, they seek to perfect methane removal in a field test in the Bighorn Reservoir behind Yellowtail Dam, near Fort Smith, Montana. CIEIF funding will support a detailed predictive EIA involving potential impacts on fisheries, nutrients, oxygenation, public safety, and other concerns in order to obtain necessary permits from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and other affected agencies.

If you are interested in applying for a 2024 grant, see Guidelines for Grant Applications.

Past Grants

2023 Grantees

Arctic Reflections, bv (AR, arcticreflections.earth) is a Dutch start-up aimed at restoring Arctic ice. AR seeks to counter sea ice loss employing a technique known as ice thickening. The thickness of existing ice is increased during winter months by pumping seawater onto the surface. Thicker ice is expected to last longer during the following summer months and increase solar radiation reflection, thereby reducing warming. CIEIF’s funding will assist AR in conducting a full assessment of impacts of an initial small-scale field test slated for the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in early 2024, as well as retaining a consulting firm for predicting impacts of the technique at potential test sites in Nunavut, Canada.

Captura Corp. (capturacorp.com) is an American ocean carbon capture company. It has innovated an electrochemical technology for low-cost and scalable Direct Ocean Capture (DOC), which removes CO2 directly from seawater. The CO2-depleted seawater then is returned to the ocean with the regenerated capacity to absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere. Captura’s long-term goal is to remove CO2 at gigaton scale by leveraging the ocean’s natural ability to absorb and store atmospheric CO2. CIEIF’s funding will support a holistic assessment, employing independent experts, of the potential biological and ecosystem impacts of the discharge plume from Captura’s 100-ton pilot operation located at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California.

International Biochar Initiative (IBI, biochar-international.org) is a global non-profit association working to scale biochar, which is a form of charcoal made from organic biomass, as a viable climate change solution and carbon removal technology. IBI has launched a project in Pakistan to assess how utilizing biochar can build resilience in Punjab province communities that are already at high risk from the impacts of climate change. Open burning of crop residues is common in Punjab and surrounding regions and it causes severe adverse effects on public health nationally. Making biochar of those residues should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer a solution to the health impacts, while also aiding economic development for local farmers through the potential for carbon removal credits, as biochar is an IPCC-recognized carbon dioxide removal technology. CIEIF will support a top-notch team of IBI researchers as well as local experts to initiate the Punjab field test while conducting environmental impact assessment, life cycle assessment, and public health impact analysis for it. CIEIF’s funding also has allowed IBI to obtain a matching grant from the Indus Climate Fund for a parallel project in Sindh province.

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