Photo for Expanding Equatic: UCLA’s Carbon Removal Technology Transcends National Boundaries
The Institute for Carbon Management's (ICM) pilot plant facility. (Photo: Satheesh Kumar Raman).

Expanding Equatic: UCLA’s Carbon Removal Technology Transcends National Boundaries

Equatic, a project developed at the Institute for Carbon Management at UCLA, is contributing to global carbon removal efforts through its collaboration with Singapore.
The Institute for Carbon Management (ICM) at UCLA is making a difference on a truly global scale. Founded in 2019, the interdisciplinary Institute has a portfolio of collaborations and projects that address various climate challenges. One of ICM’s prominent projects is Equatic, formerly known as SeaChange. ICM’s Associate Director for Technology Translation Dr. Dante Simonetti plays a crucial leadership role in the project, which focuses on removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing this carbon as a solid in the ocean. A co-inventor of Equatic’s technology — which employs an electrolytic process — Dr. Simonetti has also overseen the project’s activities abroad.

Electrochemical reactors for the Equatic process.  These systems induce a series of chemical reactions that break down water into its hydrogen and oxygen constituents, while trapping dissolved carbon dioxide and CO2 from the atmosphere in seawater in the form of solid calcium and magnesium-based materials. (Photo: Satheesh Kumar Raman). Since last spring, Equatic has launched two pilot systems — one at the Port of Los Angeles and the other in Singapore. Equatic is currently collaborating with PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. The project is applying the carbon removal process to desalination efforts at the desalination plant in Tuas, on Singapore's western coast. A specialized team of faculty and professional staff supervise the pilot plant’s operations. With this overseas partnership, Equatic has accelerated its impact on global efforts to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, a serious issue which threatens the natural environment. The project has also provided an example for universities to take a larger role in addressing climate challenges through designing and operating plants, activities more often done in industry. Currently, Equatic is looking forward to adding new plants to the project, with plans to continue expanding in Singapore and beyond.