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New technology emerges from beneath the soil

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

In 2020, the agriculture sector made up 11% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While carbon emissions have been on the rise, carbon capture technology has been gaining traction over the past few months. Carbon capturing technology absorbs carbon, one of the main greenhouse gases, from the atmosphere in various ways. More and more companies are pouring millions of dollars into this new technology. Big Tech has invested nearly a billion dollars into carbon capturing technology. Meanwhile, other companies like Seqana are introducing new technologies to the field.


The climate technology startup Seqana utilizes cumulated satellite data to enable farmers from around the world to grow crops more sustainably with soil organic carbon. Soil organic carbon stores carbon dioxide emissions within it, successfully keeping it out of the atmosphere.


“We talked to a lot of people in the space, and they told us the new frontier in this whole industry is soil organic carbon and regenerative agriculture. We can help soils around the world sequester more carbon again, and help the climate but also unlock a whole host of other co-benefits that come along with increased soil carbon sequestration,” Julian Kremers, CTO of Seqana, told Cosmic Climate.





The benefits of soil organic carbon include greater biodiversity, more soil stability, less soil erosion, and more water retention in the soils. However, there hasn’t been much work done on this relatively new cutting-edge research.“We thought this is a very high potential source for unlocking a huge climate potential. At the same time, there's not sufficient research going on there yet and there are no operational solutions at the moment. It was a really interesting challenge for us to dive into and we have been in the larger domain now for two years,” Kremers said.


Seqana’s technology is already being used in places like Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and Cambodia, and utilizes satellite data to help farmers use soil organic carbon to make the farming climate positive rather than negative.


“What we're doing at Seqana is we are enabling smallholder farmers and NGOs to untap that potential with monitoring, reporting and verifying how much carbon is actually being sequestered into the soils,” Kremers said.


Up until now, this was the largest barrier to entry into the carbon market for farmers since the monitoring reported verification is costly, takes a lot of time, and is labor intensive.


“The farmers need to go out into the field, sample a lot of samples at strategic locations, take them back to the laboratory, and analyze them. So they only have a portion of the field sampled. With remote sensing technologies and satellite technology, we have a way more scalable solution that can also be more objective and more reproducible, because all the data that goes into the calculation for the carbon on the fields is available easily,” Kremers said.


Farming is one of the largest contributors to climate change, and this technology can help make it sustainable.


“Our team thinks that Seqana has a huge potential, and we really hope to one day be able to help all those smallholder farmers contribute to climate change while being able to regenerate and restore their lands,” Kremers said.



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