CleanTechies Podcast

Unlocking the Power of Oceanic Carbon Capture w/ Ben Swainbank (Oceanid MRV)

April 21, 2023 Silas Mähner - Renewables, ClimateTech, & ESG Headhunter Season 1 Episode 94
CleanTechies Podcast
Unlocking the Power of Oceanic Carbon Capture w/ Ben Swainbank (Oceanid MRV)
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Show Notes

Today we are joined by the founder of Oceanid MRV, Ben Swainbank. 

For context, carbon capture and the measurement of how much is captured is something pretty well solved in forestry and direct air capture. However, for oceanic capture, it is not. This presents a big dilemma as Oceanic Carbon Capture is widely regarded as the most scalable method to pull carbon out of the air at a gigaton scale. 

Ben today talks to us about how he and his team are working on formalizing and certifying the amount and quality of carbon captured through such oceanic projects. 

This conversation was super helpful for understanding why oceanic pathways are important as well as the challenges of measuring the work done in a manner that is accurate and sufficient to certify. 

An interesting takeaway from this episode is how Ben, as a non-scientist, is building a company in a scientific space but is doing it by surrounding himself with a team of oceanographers and then bringing together the science and the commercial side of things. 

Early on in the show he also walked us through the steps he took to decide if this was a space he should go deeper on. This was a very helpful framework for any aspiring ClimateTech founders. 

We hope you enjoy this episode of the show! 

Topics: 

  • 1:44 Intro and origin story
  • 7:18 CDR Industry as a whole
    • Trees
    • DAC
    • Ocean
  • 9:17 Marine Pathways
    • Biomass Cultivation
    • Direct Ocean Capture
    • Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement
  • 11:53 How they capture carbon and measure it
  • 14:04 Ocean Measurements
  • 18:00 Durability of ocean capture
  • 22:13 Starting the company
  • 29:19 How their model works
  • 33:04 The fundraising process
  • 37:31 Advice to ocean MRV science startups
  • 41:42 Making the jump to be a full-time entrepreneur
  • 47:37 Starting a biz as a non-science founder
  • 51:55 Corporate / Gov incentives
  • 57:01 Closing thoughts 

Links: 

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