Corporate Blog

CSA Provides Planning and Field Support for First Carbon Sequestration Ocean Experiments by Gigablue®

CSA Ocean Sciences, Inc. (CSA) recently provided scientific and technical planning and support to Gigablue® Inc. (Gigablue®) for the company’s first field oceanic experiments to test the early development stages of their innovative carbon removal technology.

Established in 2022, Gigablue® is a global leader in Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technology. Their team of expert scientists excel in creating scalable, affordable, durable, and environmentally positive solutions. Their marine CDR technology—enhancing phytoplankton growth and using deep ocean sequestration—highlights their commitment to practical, impactful, and sustainable carbon removal methods. Carbon removed through Gigablue®’s approach will be verified to remain chemically and physically stable in its bio-natural form for over a millennia.

Gigablue® has developed its approach through years of research and development, having engineered carbon-sequestering particles composed of two parts—a nutrient shell and a gravity-controlling core.

Putting Technology to the Test

For this recent series of open ocean experimental tests, Gigablue® tested the behavior of an analog to the gravity-controlling core in actual oceanic conditions and compared this to the modeling work previously completed. Gigablue® conducted five controlled releases of these particles in volumes ranging from 4 m3 to 6.5 m3 of material. The tests were carried out in March 2024 in a water depth of approximately 1,300 m. Ocean experiments were conducted over a 48-hour period, during which CSA employed several technologies to monitor the descent of these particles through the water column and track their horizontal spread on the ocean surface.

To monitor descent, CSA employed scientific echosounders. Particles were sampled using a double trip ring net system that allowed discrete sampling for particles in the water column. Visual footage was also obtained of the forming plume and descending particles by a Gigablue® partner operating a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

The use of echosounders worked very well in tracking the formed plumes in the upper water column (above 300 m; Figure 1). They confirmed that particles were indeed descending and that the plume descent rates were faster than originally hypothesized. Acoustic data were validated with the double trip ring net system, which was used to capture particles at discrete depths in the water column in correspondence with data observed in the echograms.

Nightview of Echogram 38 and 200 kHz v2JPG

Figure 1. Echosounder views of the plume extending down to over 200 m from the sea surface after 5 minutes of the material being released.

To monitor horizontal surface movement, CSA utilized a series of Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) drifters. As the particles were released, the drifters tracked their surface movement and provided feedback on the extent of horizontal drift as the particles began to sink. The drifters were equipped with Globalstar SmartOne C GPS trackers that could provide real-time locations via satellite telemetry. A drone provided a bird’s eye view of the released material (Image 1) and further documented the material’s location on the ocean surface using both thermal and ultra-high-definition cameras, which further assisted the research vessel in tracking the plumes acoustically.

CSA Blog image

Image 1. Drone view of the plume extending from open bags.

A Successful and Insightful Outcome

Results of the ocean experiments provided key insights relative to the project ocean models and hypothesis, confirming the suitability of the scientific approach selected for monitoring Gigablue®’s CDR particles.

More comprehensive experiments are on the horizon utilizing lessons learned from these oceanic experiments. Gigablue® anticipates the first ocean deployments of their patented particle product will be conducted off the coast of New Zealand by the end of 2024. This experimental region is characterized as having high nutrient, low chlorophyll (HNLC) waters, and Gigablue® focused the nutrient portion of its particle development on this HNLC region due to its highly geo-specific particle composition. The particles will be composed of naturally occurring compounds tailored to mirror the nutrient needs of the local phytoplankton population. As phytoplankton grow, some are consumed by local fauna, and Gigablue®’s compounds will further nourish this ecosystem that typically suffers from overfishing and nutrient depletion.

“It has been such a great opportunity to provide scientific and technical support for these experiments,” said CSA Project Manager Elad Mills. “Given the current state of climate change, it is fulfilling to work with a company like Gigablue® to test some very advanced and promising technology to reduce the amount and subsequent effects of carbon on our environment. To be involved in a project like this was a privilege and working directly with the scientific experts at Gigablue® has been a terrific opportunity—we wish them success in their ongoing endeavors and will continue to support them in these efforts.”

Corporate Headquarters

8502 SW Kansas Ave.
Stuart, FL 34997

Learn More About CSA Ocean Sciences

Download Our Corporate Capabilities Statement


Corporate Headquarters

8502 SW Kansas Ave.
Stuart, FL 34997