The Impact of Ocean-Based Climate Solutions

Ocean-Based Climate Solutions, Inc.

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 13. Climate Action 14. Life Below Water

Overview

Ocean-based Climate Solutions, Inc. is an ocean environmental technology development company. They strive to reduce the amount of CO2 in the ocean, which will then counteract climate change. Their solution would help improve the quality of our air and the environment as a whole.

Authors

Annie Hodelin

Annie Hodelin

Ryan Thomas Gallagher

Ryan Thomas Gallagher

Ashmaine Sukhoo

Ashmaine Sukhoo

Brian Hendry

Brian Hendry

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

Ocean-based Climate Solutions, Inc.'s mission is to leverage natural ocean biological processes to draw down CO2 in the deep ocean, which therefore counteracts against climate change. Their method of achieving this involves accessing public corporations who wish to become zero CO2 within 15 years and helping them achieve this goal. Ocean-based Climate Solutions' impact on the environment has so far been marginal, but they hope to restore ocean ecosystems, which will result in more fish in the oceans and draw down atmospheric CO2 through natural ocean biological processes. Their plans for the future are to develop technology by 2021 that would begin commercial-scale deployments in open oceans in 2022 for the benefit of subscribers that could include both corporations and governmental organizations who wish to reduce atmospheric CO2.

Ocean-based proposals are the key to mitigating climate change to make the ocean part of the solution, as it covers 70% of the earth’s surface. Ocean-based climate solutions use the Oxygenator, which uses the natural ocean's “upwelling and downwelling physical processes that are powered entirely by ocean waves.” The upwelling function helps deliver nutrients to the upper ocean sunlight zone's phytoplankton, which then absorbs the dissolved CO2 and actually gives off oxygen. Using the downwelling function, the Oxygenator can amplify the natural process by sending near-surface water parcels containing the particles and oxygen/dissolved organic carbon below the thermocline. This also helps redistribute heat and carbon in the ocean.

The Impact of Ocean-Based Climate Solutions

Inspiration

Our society overall is super dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. Before the industrial revolution, C02 levels averaged 270 million parts per million. Ever since the industrial revolution, we have used an excessive amount of gas, oil, and coal, and the atmosphere cannot handle the increasing rise. It is now over 410 million parts per million, with really no plan in place to stop this. About 80% of our global economy relies on these fossil fuels, so with no plan in place, we can already see how badly climate changes have affected certain areas with wildfires, more powerful storms, increasing sea level, melting glaciers, and ocean acidification.

Due to the rise of changes in our environment, Philip W. Kithil and his team of scientists, engineers, and investors have decided to make a change for the better. Their goal is to "recreate an opportunity to counteract climate change by leveraging natural ocean processes." In addition to helping the climate restore, "Ocean-Based quite frankly is motivated by economic factors gaining a return on investment to the investors who have supported this project since 2005 in the parent company at Motion Inc., and so it is strongly economic but also with a very social avenue of mitigating climate change."

(http://www.ocean-based.com/climate-change-basics/)

(http://www.ocean-based.com/technology/)

Overall impact

The innovators were the people at Ocean-based Climate Solutions. This is a technology development company that puts the environment at the forefront of their operation. Philip W. Kithil is a key part of the management over at this company, as the founder and CEO, so it was great to see that he could answer some of our questions. The impact that Ocean-based Climate Solutions have is that it can essentially directly counter climate change while at the same time having the ability to restore the global ocean ecosystems, which is so important. This project was started in 2005, and during that time a lot of work has been put in. There have been strides in working on developing the technology, working on finding the proper market and the customers that will be willing to pay for the technology, and more. The headquarters of this company is in Sante Fe, New Mexico; however, they have conducted ocean tests all around the world in many different waters. The way that they do this is through their different technologies. The Oxygenator, for example, is a piece of technology that essentially uses energy in the open water to create nutrient-enriched seawater. These technologies such as this one are how the company goes towards their goals.

The short-term and long-term effects of the innovation are quite tricky to put into writing at this time, but one could make their fair share of inferences. First of all, this idea has only been a work in progress for the last 15 years, from around 2005 to 2006. Currently, the impact that the company has brought upon the environment is considered to be somewhat negligible. However, for both the near and long-term future, the effects look promising. Their goal is to continue to restore the ocean’s ecosystem by helping grow more fish in the oceans and drawing down atmospheric CO2 through natural ocean biological processes. In terms of development, the company will begin to develop these specific technologies in 2021. Moving forward from that in 2022 and beyond, the goal is that they will begin commercial-scale deployments in the open ocean with the benefit of subscribers, which could include anyone from standard corporations to even governmental organizations that have similar backgrounds of wanting to reduce atmospheric CO2.

Business benefit

In terms of how this innovation benefits the business, a lot of the information is confidential. For example, the revenue raised is unknown. However, there are other factors that we can come to learn. The biggest piece of technology right now for the company is the Oxygenator. In 2020, when the direct cost of making one is about $45,000, the company plans to sell it at a 33% margin at $68,000. Each following year after that, as the price of production continues to drop, as does the price they will be selling it for, and the margin decreases 1% annually. By the year 2030, this company is expecting this piece of technology to have a direct cost of about $12,700 and therefore sell it at a 23% margin at the price of $16,500. What this tells us is that although the economic outcome is as important to this company as it is to any company, this company really takes pride in the environment and want to achieve their goals, environmentally as well as financially, which is quite admirable. In terms of employees, the company is fairly small, with the main team of four men, Philip Kithil, Philip Fullam, Amal Bhattarai, and Chris White.

This innovation does have some serious upside in terms of benefiting the business, though. Because the business created technologies such as the Oxygenator and will continue to produce more advanced technologies, the possibilities are endless. The market size that they focus on is an incredible $60 trillion, and with the field that the business specifies the upscale is really limitless. We know that our planet cannot withstand all of the stress that we throw at it, and that is why really understanding the environment and being as eco-friendly as possible is becoming even more important each year. They are just on the cusp of their biggest projects moving forward, so the future is tough to tell, but it's easy to see a vision in the future where this company is doing very well just based on the sheer size of the market and with how what they specifically work on will be at the forefront of the priorities we have moving forward.

Social and environmental benefit

This innovation benefits both society and the environment. The main and simplest way that this innovation benefits the environment is that it rehabilitates marine systems. Through so many different things, such as the overflow of plastic into the ocean and rapid global warming as a whole, the marine systems are being decimated right before our eyes. The innovations that this company is producing primarily focus on not letting that happen, and instead growing the marine systems back. Technologies such as the Oxygenator the company has created draw natural energy from the abundant ocean wave energy. From there, these technologies are placed in the ocean and can catch up to 134 tons of CO2 per year. Just by doing this, the natural processes of the ocean and marine life are amplified significantly, hopefully helping turn the clock back a little and reversing some of the negatives that we have already been placing on the ocean.

Now, how this innovation benefits society goes hand in hand with how it benefits the environment. One thing that we can say for certain is that an environment that is better and healthier will lead to a society that is better off because of it as well. As I mentioned previously, the future impact on the environment that directly correlates to our society is that this technology will be taking CO2 out of the deep sea, which will allow there to be more fish to grow in the oceans. Along with that, this will likely help draw down the atmospheric CO2 as well just through the natural ocean biological processes. More fish in our deep oceans and less CO2 in our atmosphere are very important, especially in the state of lethal climate change that our world is pushing towards, and the technologies that Ocean-based Climate Solutions are implementing are one step on the right foot to those goals.

Interview

Philip Kithil, Founder/CEO/Acting CFO

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Ocean-Based Climate Solutions, Inc.

Ocean-Based Climate Solutions, Inc.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, US

Business Website: http://www.ocean-based.com

Year Founded: 2006

Number of Employees: 201 to 500

As the name implies, Ocean-based Climate Solutions, Inc. ("Ocean-based"​) is focused on leveraging and amplifying the ocean's natural countermeasures to climate change. Their suite of ocean technologies can help restore and amplify these natural processes without any negative impact on marine ecosystems.