Clean technology company Planetary Hydrogen, which has declared ambition of removing a gigaton of carbon from the atmosphere annually by 2035, has recently moved most of its operations to Halifax from Ottawa.
The company has devised a system that produces hydrogen, which is growing in demand as a clean fuel, and injects bicarbonate into the ocean to reduce acidity and capture carbon.
CEO Mike Kelland told Entrevestor that it was drawn to Atlantic Canada for a few reasons.
“One of them is we had to pick an ocean because we’re ocean-focused as a startup …. Then one of the things that really drew us to the East Coast rather than the West Coast was the support we found here,” Kelland told the online startup news site in an interview from Cole Harbour, N.S.
To meet its target, Planetary Hydrogen is planning a system with various components, the first of which uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. It would then sell the hydrogen, currently a $150 billion-a-year market, as a clean fuel.
Planetary Hydrogen enhances the process by adding mineral salt to the mixture to also produce hydroxide. The hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, trapping the CO2 and producing bicarbonate.
By dumping bicarbonate into the ocean, the process can sequester carbon for thousands of years. This helps ease acidity in the water caused by global warming.
The company intends to sell both hydrogen and offsets for the carbon it captures. It has secured Ottawa e-commerce company Shopify as a customer for carbon offsets. The value of carbon offsets is destined to rise in many jurisdictions, including Canada, as the price on carbon increases.