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Pilots prove efficacy of Omani carbon removal tech

Omani award-winning climate tech start-up 44.01 says a pair of pilot projects has validated the effectiveness of its pioneering carbon removal technology in permanently locking away planet-warming CO2 in peridotite rocks found in abundance in the Sultanate of Oman.


According to 44.01’s Chief Commercial Officer Karan Khimji, the technology – which earned a prestigious Earthshot Prize for the start-up last year – has now been successfully tested at a pilot undertaken in Oman, with a second pilot currently under way in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two locations, while hundreds of kilometres apart, target the same massive peridotite-rich Ophiolite formation that starts in Oman and ends in the UAE.


Speaking at a forum on the growth of a Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) industry in Oman, Khimji said 44.01’s carbon removal technology, in essence, accelerates a naturally occurring process of carbon mineralization when CO2 and water reacts with the olivine properties of peridotite.


“What we do at 44.01 is that we accelerate this natural mineralization process to take in meaningful amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, and from the industries, to have an impact on the effects of climate change. We take CO2 that’s been captured from a Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility or (from industrial sources), we mix that with water and inject that fluid mixture into formations in the subsurface. We target specific fracture networks that exist in the natural crystalline structure of the Ophiolite formation, and that’s how we engage the CO2 with the Ophiolite formation itself. Over the course of about a year, the CO2 reacts with the rock and turns into calcite minerals that permanently lock away that CO2 from existence in that mineral form,” he explained.


To minimize the carbon footprint of the mineralization process, renewable electricity is used to power the injection process, said Khimji.


The two pilots, 44.01’s Chief Commercial Officer said, were a demonstration of Omani “homegrown technology” that has also been successfully validated in Oman and abroad. He underlined in this regard the pivotal importance of carbon removal technology, such as that pioneered by 44.01, in fighting climate change – an assertion also made by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


As for the next steps in the application of the technology, Khimji stated: “We are going to scale up our projects to the next phase, and we’re slowly working with the relevant industries here that are overseeing our process to ensure that everything is done in a safe and protected way.” 44.01, he further noted, can also support the development of green aviation fuel production in one of two ways: One – Airlines can offset “embodied carbons” associated with the construction of airplanes by purchasing the 44.01’s carbon mineralization credits; and Two – Producers of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) can divert their CO2 captured from the production process for permanent mineralization based on 44.01’s carbon removal technology.