Agriculture is both contributing to the climate crisis and being negatively impacted by it. According to the USDA, agriculture is responsible for more than 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, changes in temperature and rainfall as the climate crisis intensifies are causing droughts, reducing crop yields and their nutritional quality. These changes also affect soils, leading to changes in soil erosion, organic carbon, nutrients, and alkalinity.
Lithos captures CO2 by using an abundant, naturally occurring mineral called basalt. It recycles existing mining byproducts stockpiles (cheap, no additional mining) where basalt has already been crushed down to fine dust. When that basalt dust is spread on farmlands, it captures atmospheric CO2 and stabilizes it as permanent sequestration. The basalt provides numerous co-benefit if optimized correctly: increased crop yields (10-40%), improved soil health, and enhanced crop resilience to pests and droughts.
Lithos tunes basalt deployment conditions on a field-by-field and crop-by-crop basis to guard against negative impacts and maximize crop yield. Lithos’ software generates a custom rock dust plan from the optimization of soil chemistry, crop nutrition, climatology, dust size and distribution, and other conditions. Once the basalt dust is spread, Lithos empirically measures carbon removal volume and sells credits to corporations, with a share of the proceeds going directly back to the farmer. The software and measurement have been developed and proven against long-term field trials and on real farms. Lithos is already live across 1,000+ acres with thousands more acres in the pipeline. The company is on track to permanently capture >2,000 tons of carbon dioxide this year and has deployed over 11,000 tons of rock to date.
Lithos’ process is easy-to-adopt for farmers and doesn’t require new infrastructure or additional energy, or land use. This cost-effective, safe carbon removal method is immediately scalable and will have a tremendous impact on food security as it delivers tangible results for combating climate change.
Simple and scalable soil-based carbon removal is an area that our team has been researching for well over a year. We are excited to back Mary Yap and the Lithos team alongside Greylock Partners, and other climate and generalists investors. If you’re interested in being part of Lithos Carbon’s journey, the team is hiring ([email protected]).