Learn more about Eion, our carbon removal process, and how we’re working with farmers and the existing agriculture system.
Eion is a carbon removal company. We use the Earth’s natural mineralization cycle to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere safely, permanently, and verifiably. Eion works closely with farmers, ranchers, and existing agriculture systems to improve soil health and create jobs in rural communities.
In 2022, Eion removed 500 tons of carbon dioxide, and in 2023, we will deliver another 8,500 tons of verifiable removal employing our patented measurement methodology. By 2026, Eion will be on track to remove 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually while creating jobs in rural communities where it operates.
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a natural, scientifically proven carbon removal process. For millions of years, Earth has been balancing carbon cycles on its own. The slow process of eroding rocks removes CO2 from the atmosphere and transports it away to be permanently sequestered.
Nature came up with a pretty great process if you ask us. So we aren’t reinventing it. Eion kick-starts the mineralization cycle by first crushing olivine minerals. Then, we work with the existing agricultural system to transport and apply the crushed minerals to working lands. Once applied, nature does the heavy lifting. Rain and soil acidity dissolve the olivine and help it absorb CO2 from the atmosphere before it is transported away to be permanently stored.
We didn’t invent weathering (the Earth did) and ERW has long been appealing as a carbon removal solution, but it’s been considered too difficult to measure. Eion has uniquely figured out how to measure carbon removal by ERW. Our industry-first patented approach directly measures carbon dioxide removed by mineral weathering in soils using immobile trace elements–soil fingerprinting– to show applied minerals removed CO2 from the atmosphere and were transported away to be permanently sequestered. This process can be independently verified for high-quality credit issuance.
Our measurement approach can be deployed widely for ERW with any silicate rock, and we aim to make this measurement methodology a foundation others can build upon so many kinds of ERW solutions can scale to deliver verified carbon removal.
Our olivine mineral soil amendment removes about one ton of CO2 per ton of rock applied. On the average acre, we recommend applying two tons per acre. We prioritize agronomic considerations and work with agronomic calculators to determine the recommended amount of product per individual acre to avoid over application.
Eion invented a patented approach to measure the atmospheric carbon removed by ERW in soils. We call this soil fingerprinting—using direct soil samples to show applied minerals removed CO2 from the atmosphere and were transported away to be permanently sequestered. Eion’s measurement approach can be deployed widely for ERW with any silicate rock, and we aim to make this measurement methodology a foundation others can build upon so many kinds of ERW solutions can scale.
Eion’s patented direct measurement process demonstrates total carbon removal with soil measurement before and after applying mineral amendments to farmland. First, our partners take direct soil measurements before applying olivine to farmland. Soil sampling is a routine part of farm management practices, used by farmers to look at soil properties and make decisions about nutrient applications to increase crop yield, reduce costs and minimize environmental impact.
Next, once the crop has been harvested, or in pastureland after four to six months, we take a second soil sample. Then, these two measurement results are compared to verify the amount of olivine applied, the total CO2 removed and the impact (if any) of other trace elements and micronutrients on the land. We’re able to measure the carbon removed by quantifying the alkalinity fluxes from the root zone into the subsoil; the flow of alkalinity from magnesium is matched by a flow of alkalinity in the form of dissolved carbon between the air, soil and olivine.
This measurement process shows that six to nine months after the olivine is applied, that 40% to 70% of carbon was removed. The remaining 30% of deliverable CDR will be verified over the next 12 months as the olivine continues to break down. Direct measurement enables us to prove carbon removal has happened, rather than estimating. It’s critical to build trust in ERW, and with direct measurement we create abundant digital artifacts that can be audited and verified by independent bodies.
We’re working diligently to build the broad scientific acceptance needed to bring Eion’s measurement approach to the market by collaborating with research institutions, standards-bearers, and verification bodies. That includes collaborating with leading academics and experts from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the Leverhulme Center for Climate Mitigation. We expect to publish a peer-reviewed paper in an academic journal in 2023.
Eion is committed to scientific collaboration with ERW stakeholders on important endeavors related to MRV that will unlock scale for this critical carbon removal pathway. We are working with ag leaders to expand field trials across a diverse range of soils, crops, climate and management practices. Through partnerships with research institutions like University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Sheffield, USDA-ARS Field Sites, Rutgers, AgMetrics, and the Illinois Crop Improvement Association, we’re helping build a robust set of data points on ERW.
Eion uses olivine in its operations—a mineral that has been approved for decades as a safe, effective micronutrient fertilizer. Olivine has been available as an approved agricultural input in the US since the 1940s. The things that make olivine great at carbon removal also make it great for farmers. It’s an alternative to existing soil fertilizers, and a one-to-one replacement for aglime. Olivine improves soil health, delivers a high rate of carbon removal per ton of rock, and requires fewer trips by farmers across fields to spread (because they don’t need to use as much) which also makes application less disruptive to farming practices.
Olivine is one of the Earth’s most common minerals and is found in the upper mantle, just beneath the crust. Olivine is so abundant that more water may be dissolved in the olivine of the Earth’s mantle than is contained in all of the oceans combined. Today, 80% of the global olivine production originates from Norway managed by family-run quarrying businesses that have safely handled the mineral for generations.
Other fun facts about olivine: You might recognize the green-hued mineral; the highest quality olivine is called peridot, the August birthstone. In Finland, they use olivine in sauna stoves. Olivine is found naturally in some pretty cool places, like Papakolea Beach, which is an entire olivine breach on Hawaii’s Big Island; Punta Cormorant in the Galápagos Islands is another olivine beach popular with stingrays and sea turtles; and finally, Norway’s Lake Hornindalsvatnet, which is Europe’s deepest lake with naturally green shores from olivine mineral deposits left by glaciers thousands of years ago.
Given its properties, olivine helps balance soil pH levels, helping with overall soil health. The mineral can be applied on any acre, from row crops to permanent crops and pasture, and even managed woodlands.
Eion partners directly with two established and trusted agricultural groups (Growmark and Southern Ag) that each reach thousands of acres in their respective regions. Through these partnerships, we have secured the interest of farmers and ranchers representing over 1 million acres of working land.
As an aglime replacement, our olivine soil amendment can be applied once every two to three years either before planting or after harvesting. The frequency of application is dependent on the acidity of the soil. Farmers and Eion soil specialists work together to implement an application strategy that’s best suited for their operation.