Lithos decarbonizes farmland, the basis of the global food supply, while increasing carbon removal and improving soil health and crop yields

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SEATTLE–()–Litho, an agricultural carbon removal company, today announced that it has secured $6.29 million in capital to scale up its enhanced rock weathering process to turn farmlands into carbon capture hubs. while increasing crop yields. Seed round investment was led by Union Square Ventures and Greylock Partners with the participation of Bain Capital Venturesand climate and agriculture funds Carbon Removal Partners, Fall Line Capitalthe Carbon reduction initiativeand Cavallo Ventures. Lithos represents the first-ever climate investment from Greylock Partners and Bain Capital Ventures. The company plans to use the capital to grow its team, fill its current waitlist, expand to other farms and geographies, and acquire additional raw materials.

Based on decades of academic research, Lithos’ engineered biogeochemical process uses volcanic basalt to capture and permanently lock up atmospheric carbon. Compared to other carbon capture solutions, Lithos’ enhanced rock weathering is:

  • Cost effective and scalable: at a cost 5x cheaper than direct air capture
  • Faster: significant acceleration of the natural rock weathering process, reaching in two to three years what takes time scales of 15 to 50 years in other rock weathering deployments, and 100 to 1000 times faster than in nature
  • More efficient: traps CO2 permanently, with storage times exceeding 100,000 years

Created for row crop farmers, Lithos’ software adjusts deployment conditions field-by-field and crop-by-crop to guard against negative impacts and maximize crop yield. System configuration is transparent to growers: Lithos’ platform generates a custom application that uniquely optimizes concentration and regional rates based on variables such as soil chemistry, crop nutrition, climatology, particle distribution and other conditions. Once the product is spread, Lithos chemically measures the volume of carbon removal and sells credits to the companies, with a share of the profits going directly to the farmer. The software has been developed and proven through long-term field trials and on real farms. According to McKinsey research, the current market value of carbon credits is $1 billion and it is expected to reach $30-50 billion by 2030.

“We don’t just capture carbon. Lithos’ approach is directly valuable to farmers, increasing crop yields and replacing the costly status quo – agricultural lime – with basalt dust, derived from heavy metal-free rocks. Our farmer mentality prioritizes both crop safety and yield,” said Mary Yap, co-founder and CEO of Lithos. “The significant benefits for the climate – eliminating thousands of tonnes of CO2 and recycling by-products of raw rock aggregates used in construction – are a resounding resulting bonus.

In addition to its carbon sequestration abilities, basalt has a variety of secondary benefits that universally improve soil health and provide essential nutrients to crops. Amid supply chain challenges and escalating fertilizer costs, maintaining soil conditions can be costly and time-consuming. The potassium, phosphorus and other micronutrient content of basalt acts as a certified organic fertilizing agent. The product also improves soil health and regeneration, for example in the Southeast where rainfall patterns accelerate topsoil erosion and in the Midwest where industrial agriculture has stripped away important micronutrients. , the basalt replaces vital nutrients that have been lost.

Since its launch, Lithos has demonstrated accelerated momentum, achieving key milestones this year:

  • Lithos is already online on over 1,000 acres with thousands of acres in the works.

  • Thanks to its breakthroughs in accelerated carbon removal, the company is on track to continuously capture more than 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide this year and has deployed more than 11,000 tons of rock to date.

  • Lithos joins the leader in agriculture Yara International Agoro Carbon Alliance to deploy Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW) with Lithos on US farmland. The first acres will go live this fall.

  • The company is one of the top five suppliers worldwide for Border, a $1 billion upfront market commitment to accelerate the development of carbon-free technologies led by Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta and McKinsey. Lithos is Frontier’s largest credit supplier, with 640 tons.

  • Lithos has assembled a team with deep expertise in soil chemistry, freight logistics, agronomy, geophysical modeling and machine learning.

“We are delighted to work with Lithos and support their approach to low cost, high capacity and enhanced weather protection,” said Nan Ransohoff, Frontier’s manager. “The team is working hard to establish the right partnerships with suppliers and distribution, as well as working towards robust measurement, reporting and verification based on lessons learned from long-term field trials.

Albert Wenger, Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures, adds, “Agriculture contributes a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions, representing a critical – and massive – opportunity for process innovation. The Lithos process is easy for farmers to adopt and does not require new infrastructure or additional land use. This cost effective and safe carbon removal method is immediately scalable and will have a huge impact on food security as it delivers tangible results to tackle the climate crisis.

Lithos was co-founded in March 2022 by Mary Yap, Dr. Noah Planavsky and Dr. Chris Reinhard. The team brings together operational and academic expertise in the fields of geology, planetary sciences, urban research, geochemistry and atmospheric sciences. Yap is a published author of climate research and a second startup founder. His family is made up of generational farmers in Taiwan. Both Reinhard and Planavsky are originally from the Midwest and both are full professors: Reinhard is Associate Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, while Planavsky is Associate Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences at Yale. Together, the duo co-invented Lithos’ pH buffering and predictive management software and isotope dilution technology that enables precise verification of soil carbon removal.

“Lithos uniquely demonstrates how science and software can be harnessed to measurably alter and improve the climate as we know it today,” said Asheem Chandna, general partner at Greylock. Mike Duboe, Greylock’s General Partner, added, “Mary, Noah and Chris have the research capability, technology capability and experience to scale Lithos globally. With Lithos, there is huge potential to stabilize our food system which is increasingly challenged by climate, demand and overconsumption – and it’s working!”

About Lithos

Lithos’ mission is to turn farmland into carbon capture hubs – removing one billion tonnes of atmospheric CO2 this decade while improving crop yields. Founded in March 2022 by regular entrepreneurs and the world’s leading experts in atmospheric geochemistry, Lithos’ technology offers an optimization platform that permanently eliminates CO2 of the atmosphere in a matter of human seasons rather than geological millennia. Cost effective, immediately scalable and empirically measured, Lithos deployments are custom designed, field by field and crop by crop, to improve yield, protect crops and improve soil conditions. To learn more, visit www.lithoscarbon.com.

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