Cleantech Coast to Coast:
Planetary Technologies

August 29, 2023

Join us at Foresight for a virtual road trip across Canada in our annual series Cleantech Coast to Coast. From the nation’s largest urban centres, to remote pockets of innovation, we’ll celebrate Canada’s inspiring innovators at every stop. 

Buckle up, and come along with us as we visit some of the change-makers and cleantech leaders who are deploying impactful climate solutions, and moving the needle toward net zero. Our next stop: Dartmouth, NS.

Addressing the ongoing climate crisis requires that we reduce global GHG emissions from nearly 50Gt/y to below 5Gt/y. Basically, we need to adapt to a new way of life — all in less than 27 years. 

The ocean acts as an essential buffer to climate change. As Earth’s largest carbon sink, it absorbs close to 30 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions. However, staying on our current path will result in oceans continuing to acidify, posing a threat to the corals that support 500M people around the world.

Planetary Technologies is developing the world’s first carbon removal system that has the ability to transform coastal outfalls into carbon removal machines. Their technology has the potential to remove 2,000,000 gross tonnes of carbon per year, creating a significant impact on levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere. Through a process known as Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE), Planetary adds a pure and mild form of alkalinity to the ocean. This added alkalinity neutralizes acidic CO2, which allows the ocean to absorb more atmospheric CO2 to help bring both the air and the ocean back into equilibrium.

The process used by Planetary is inspired by nature’s very own rebalancing process. During the geologic carbon cycle, rain drops fall and break apart alkaline rock. The resulting runoff transfers the alkalinity from these rocks into the ocean, which then transforms dissolved CO2 into carbonate and bicarbonate. This process has the ability to trap and store atmospheric CO2 in months, rather than the millenia that is required by the natural geologic carbon cycle to do the same.

Very high amounts of alkalinity are required in order to remove gigatonnes of CO2 from Earth’s atmosphere. As such, Planetary uses a holistic approach when sourcing alkalinity in order to maximize the possible CO2 removal efficiency for each individual site. Planetary is also working to develop a process that extracts alkalinity directly from magnesium-rich rocks. This new process has the potential to produce the required alkalinity at extremely high volumes, with a low carbon footprint and low costs through the production of high-value co-products, such as green hydrogen and battery metals.

Planetary’s CEO Michael Kelland recognizes the scale of the climate crisis, and the negative feelings that often arise with it. 

“It is easy to lose hope or to become disengaged from the reality of climate change, but I see it as motivation to help create change. I have three young children and want to protect the Earth for generations to come.”

Michael Kelland CEO, Planetary Technologies
<span>Michael Kelland</span>

Planetary Technologies is a 2021 and 2022 Foresight 50 honouree. The Foresight 50 shines a spotlight on compelling climate solutions by recognizing Canada’s 50 most investible cleantech ventures. The 2021 Foresight 50 raised almost $600M, and our 2022 cohort was featured in over 900 international media hits. 

Interested in learning more? Meet the change-makers moving Canada toward net zero.