It almost sounds too good to be true: Take basalt dust that today is wasted in the manufacturing of things like asphalt shingles, sprinkle it on farmers’ fields, and it raises crop yields while also removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Where’s the catch?
For the entire thing to work, farmers need to add just the right amount of basalt. Too little and they don’t capture much carbon and their crops don’t see any benefits. Too much and the field could end up releasing carbon instead of removing it. Soils are complex systems.
The team at Lithos Carbon thinks they’ve cracked the code. They’re working with farmers in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast, where they’ve already captured over 2,000 tons of carbon this year.
The startup just announced a $6.3 million seed round led by Union Square Ventures and Greylock Partners with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Carbon Removal Partners, the Carbon Drawdown Initiative, Fall Line Capital and Cavallo Ventures. For Greylock and Bain, it’s their first climate investment.