Rigorous Measurement will Enable Enhanced Rock Weathering to Scale as a Reliable Carbon Removal Solution
OAKLAND, Calif., May 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Eion, a carbon removal company scaling enhanced rock weathering (ERW) on agricultural lands, today announced its industry-first patent to directly measure carbon removal through ERW. Eion is working with farmers and existing agricultural systems to rapidly scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to meet Net Zero goals while improving soil health and creating jobs in rural communities.
Led by a team of scientists and recognized soil and geochemistry experts, Eion’s patented approach directly measures carbon dioxide removed by mineral weathering in soils using immobile trace elements–soil fingerprinting– to show applied minerals removed CO2 from the atmosphere and were transported away to be permanently sequestered. Eion’s measurement approach can be deployed widely for ERW with any silicate rock.
“Our measurement methodology unlocks enhanced rock weathering for the benefit of the global climate and local communities,” said Adam Wolf, Co-Founder and CEO of Eion. “ERW has long been an elegant way to clean up the atmosphere. The catch was you couldn’t measure it. We discovered how to use the soil samples agronomists already take to measure carbon removal precisely. This MRV milestone is the first step to scaling a proven climate solution, which Eion plans to do by tapping into the existing agricultural system and putting people to work along the way.”
Eion uses olivine in its operations—a mineral that has been approved for decades as a safe, effective micronutrient fertilizer—and works with local crop advisors to ensure that every acre is managed consistently with the grower’s agronomic and management goals. To measure carbon removal, Eion takes soil samples just before the rock is applied on the field and keeps on monitoring changes in the soil over time after the rock has been applied to quantify weathering and the CO2 removed in the process.
Six to nine months after applying olivine, Eion can show that 40% to 70% of the mineral has dissolved, capturing atmospheric CO2 that is ultimately stored in the ocean for thousands of years. As the mineral continues to dissolve, CO2 will continue to be captured until the reaction is complete.
“We must establish trust in the ERW market, which is why Eion focuses on rigorous measurement standards,” said Elliot Chang, Co-Founder and CTO of Eion. “Our newly patented methodology enables a simple and direct account of carbon removal by creating abundant digital artifacts that can be audited and verified by independent bodies.”
Eion is now working to assimilate its data streams and automate independent verification and certification with validation and verification bodies. Working alongside leading academics and experts from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the Leverhulme Center for Climate Mitigation, Eion is stress-testing its measurement methodology and expects to publish a final paper in 2023.
In 2022, Eion removed 500 tons of carbon dioxide, and in 2023, it will deliver another 8,500 tons of verifiable removal employing its patented measurement methodology. By 2026, Eion will be on track to remove 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually while creating jobs in rural communities where it operates.
Eion is committed to scientific collaboration with ERW stakeholders on important endeavors related to MRV that will unlock scale for this critical carbon removal pathway. The company is partnering with research institutions like UC Berkeley, UIUC, University of Nebraska, University of Sheffield, USDA-ARS, Rutgers, and organizations like SGS, AgMetrics, and the Illinois Crop Improvement Association to build a robust set of data points.
Dr. Evan DeLucia, UIUC Professor and Director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, has directly seen the patented approach in action, stating, “Eion’s new MRV technology unlocks the remaining challenge of quantifying the effectiveness of enhanced weathering under real-world conditions and will accelerate the adoption of enhanced weathering in agriculture.”
Eion is a carbon removal company scaling enhanced rock weathering (ERW) on working lands. It holds an industry-first patent for directly measuring the CO2 removed by mineral weathering in soils using immobile trace elements or soil fingerprinting.
A US-based company with proud agricultural roots and deep scientific expertise, Eion’s takes a farmer-first approach and fits their established ways of doing things. That includes using existing soil sampling protocols for its measurement methodology and applying olivine, a naturally abundant mineral cleared for agricultural use that is ideal for ERW because it absorbs a high rate of carbon while improving soil health.
By working with the agricultural system for scale, Eion is on track to deliver 500,000 tons of permanent, verifiable carbon removal annually starting in 2026 while creating jobs in rural communities. Eion is backed by AgFunder and Ridgeline and scientifically vetted by Stripe Climate. For more information, visit EionCarbon.com and follow on LinkedIn.