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Omani firm aims to rock the world by mineralising CO2

Omani 44.01 44.01
Oman's 44.01 carbon mineralisation startup has attracted global interest after becoming an Earthshot Prize winner
  • Earthshot Prize-winning 44.01 rolls out expansion with UAE project
  • Technology accelerates way peridotite rock mineralises CO2
  • Startup aims to provide carbon removal at gigaton scale

Omani carbon mineralisation startup 44.01 plans global expansion after being named a winner of last December’s Earthshot Prize for its innovative technology.

The company expects to start work in the UAE on its first pilot project outside Oman mineralising peridotite rock later this year.

Peridotite – a rock found in Oman as well as in America, Europe, Asia and Australasia – mineralises CO2 naturally.

This usually takes decades but 44.01’s technology rapidly accelerates the process to eliminate CO2 in less than a year.

In October, 44.01 – named after the molecule mass for CO2 – is scheduled to start operations on the project in a partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation and Masdar. 

It will be 44.01’s largest pilot project to date, and its first project outside Oman. A successful pilot would open the possibility of mineralising billions of tonnes of captured CO2 across the region and wider afield, with the US, Europe, Japan and Australia all on the radar. 

Talal Hasan, founder and CEO of 44.01, said the pilot will enable the company to test its technology at scale “on our way to offering a safe, cost-effective, natural solution for eliminating captured CO2 internationally”.

Omani 44.01Supplied
Karan Khimji, co-founder and chief commercial officer of 44.01

Karan Khimji, co-founder and chief commercial officer, told AGBI: “Winning an Earthshot Prize has been a real boost for our whole team, and it’s certainly opened doors with partners.

“There are a lot of organisations who are interested in what we’re doing and whether we could work together to eliminate CO2. 

“It’s also been great here in Oman to get some of the younger generation excited about the impact that innovation, technology and entrepreneurship can have on our climate.”

The Earthshot Prize, set up by Prince William and the Royal Foundation, aims to find tested, scalable innovations that can help repair the climate and prevent further harm.

Oman, alongside other Gulf countries, last year announced plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Muscat’s target was unveiled by Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said in October and included the establishment of the Oman Centre for Sustainability.

The Omani government has also set up a Carbon Management Laboratory, and has established a national hydrogen alliance, known as Hy-Fly, made up of 13 public and private organisations. It aims to facilitate production for domestic use and export.

44.01 OmaniSupplied
The peridotite rock mineralisation project will be the first commercial demonstration to mineralise multiple tonnes of CO2 per day

Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals and 44.01 have also agreed a concession for the world’s first commercial-scale peridotite mineralisation project, which will begin next year in the Hajar mountains.

The first commercial demonstration to mineralise multiple tonnes of CO2 per day, 44.01 will take CO2 captured from the atmosphere or from industrial processes, dissolve it in water and then inject it into peridotite formations deep underground.

In the long term, the company aims to expand across the world as it looks to provide carbon removal at gigaton scale.

It is likely to seek further fundraising to help support its ambitions, and envisages the establishment of CO2 mineralisation centres located close to industrial hubs specialising in sectors such as chemicals production, steel and cement. These produce emissions that are notoriously hard to abate.

Khimji said: “By 2050 we need to be removing billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, so our priority is to take our solution to scale as quickly as possible. 

“A lot of our operations will always be here in the region, because of the abundance of peridotite here, but we’d love to take a Middle Eastern technology around the world.”

Expansion into the US appeals in particular as it has an Inflation Reduction Act, which essentially offers subsidies or tax credits to organisations that can remove CO2.

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