Carbon removal through enhanced rock weathering together with farmers in the tropics

What is the Challenge?

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation and thus has to be solved urgently. It will not be sufficient to solely reduce emissions, we also need to find a scalable and permanent solution to remove carbon dioxide permanently from the atmosphere. At the same time, farmers in the tropics are in great need of restoring their soils and are today dependent on imported synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Is there any way these two problems can be solved at the same time?

What is the Solution?

The natural weathering of rock has sequestered most of the atmospheric dioxide throughout our planet's history. German-based Inplanet’s innovative solution uses weathering of rocks to permanently sequester CO2 and regenerate tropical soils. Silicate rock reacts with water and CO2 and as a result, dissolved bicarbonates are produced. Through rivers, these bicarbonates are slowly transported to the ocean where they precipitate as carbonates, sink to the ocean floor, and, in the form of sediments, lock away the sequestered carbon for millions of years. Through the grinding and spreading of rock powder on agricultural fields, Inplanet significantly accelerates the natural process. In the soil environment, minerals from the rock react with water and CO2, serving as nutrients for the crops, supporting farmers’ transition to a low carbon and sustainable agriculture. The rock powder contains fresh minerals, which make them a natural and long-term fertilizer.

Inplanet is currently focusing on Brazil, where the soil and climate are optimal for fast and effective weathering. There is a global abundance of silicate rocks, and as Inplanet source them locally in Brazil, the need for imported solutions is reduced. To be able to scale and quantify the carbon dioxide removal, the Inplanet team is currently developing an integrated platform to connect quarries, farmers, and the global carbon market. Developing tools for the accurate quantification, verification, and certification of carbon removal credits based on Enhanced Weathering technology is essential to ensure each carbon sink is properly documented.