The GEA@275TM carbon dioxide removal technology is a new method of inducing Marine snow formation in the Southern oceans in order to absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The natural technology could remove up to 20% of the worlds annual emissions.
By minimally increasing the amount of iron chelates in the High Nitrate – Low Chlorophyll regions of the world´s oceans, GEA@275TM induces the formation of Marine snow. Marine snow has the ability to remove “new” carbon from the ocean surface down to the deep sea floor. The ocean surface can then again capture new atmospheric carbon. This process will remove atmospheric carbon, and bury it on the deep ocean floor, and restore it as carbon captured in organic matter.
Unlike previous research projects, GEA@275TM is not meant to induce phytoplankton blooms. The GEA@275TM technology induces the formation of Marine snow by triggering an elevated release of extracellular organic carbon by existing communities of phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria. The microorganisms actively growing within the marine snow organic matrix remove carbon from the ocean surface through the photosynthesis, and store it on the deep ocean floor.
Marine snow is a previously neglected natural oceanic system which has been described as “the major pathway of organic carbon from the ocean surface to the ocean floor” (Fowler & Knower, 1986). The requirement for burying CO2 is that the Marine snow gradually but steadily becomes heavy enough to sink to the ocean floor.
This new natural carbon capture and storage (CCS) method, developed by Prof. Stasa Puskaric, relies on small amounts of iron (kilograms), to trigger the formation of Marine snow and stimulate the functioning of the “biological pump”. The Marine snow aggregates will in time become increasingly heavy and sink below the ocean surface, taking all of the carbon to the sea floor, never to be returned to the atmosphere.
Prof. Stasa Puskaric witnessed the formation of marine snow (photo) while diving in clear waters of the northern Adriatic Sea, on the coast of Croatia, in June 1997. He has studied the processes associated with the organism´s formation extensively since then.
This process is the only natural system powerful enough to reverse the current trends of global warming.
If the conditions observed in the Adriatic in 1997 could be replicated in an area of 100.000 m2 in the Southern oceans, it could remove up to 1 billion tons of carbon during a 4-month period.
Despite the known importance of Marine snow’s ability to remove “new” carbon from the ocean surface, and its strong bonds to microbial extracellular release, Marine snow has never been studied in the Southern oceans. Further research is necessary, and we aim to gather an international research consortium to continue the process.