By Adam Wolf, Eion co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) has long been known to be an elegant way to clean up the atmosphere. The catch was you couldn’t measure it. When Elliot and I started digging into ERW, we realized it would only be possible to scale with precise measurement and rigorous science.
Why? Rigorous measurement is core to standardization and necessary for getting buyers comfortable with enhanced rock weathering. Those demand signals help de-risk the category and make it more appealing to the project financiers every ERW player needs to back their infrastructure investments. Ultimately, measurement and standards unlock scale.
Said another way: poor measurement is the most significant risk enhanced rock weathering (and CDR) faces today. It would only take a few instances of less-than-rigorous science to undermine the entire space before any of us ever get started. One only needs to look at forestry as an example of how this can hamstring a critical climate solution.
That’s why I’m excited to announce today that Eion figured out how to rigorously measure carbon removal through ERW and has been awarded the industry’s first patent for doing it. It’s only one piece of the puzzle to get to broad commercialization, but an important milestone that makes it possible for our scientific advancement to become a category enabler.
We aim to make this measurement process a foundation others can build upon, much like software development kits (SDKs) which provide developers with pre-built components and tools. SDKs offer an efficient way to create new digital products by saving developers time, effort, and resources. This approach has spurred innovation and made investing in digital products less risky, thus growing the entire ecosystem and creating opportunities for many players to bring their solutions to market.
It’s our ambition that Eion’s work becomes a stepping stone from which other ERW players (be that today or ten years in the future) can push the category forward—simply because they don’t have to spend their limited time and capital figuring out measurement.
What comes next? We’re working diligently to build the broad scientific acceptance needed to bring this measurement approach to the market by collaborating with research institutions, standards-bearers, and verification bodies. That includes co-authoring a peer-reviewed publication on one of the longest running trials on ERW with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the Leverhulme Center for Climate Change Mitigation.
Read more about how Eion directly measures carbon removal by enhanced rock weathering here.