Agriculture produces what might be some of the hardest planet-warming carbon emissions to eliminate. People need to eat, and right now, the way we make food generates a lot of greenhouse gases — about a third of the total created by human activity. There are some simple ways to reduce it, like eating less meat, but there’s a point where cutting is no longer an option.
That’s why there’s growing interest in something called enhanced rock weathering, where minerals that naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are crushed up and spread on soils to speed the process. It happens that some of these minerals are also beneficial for farmers and ranchers, many of whom have been searching in vain for ways to reduce their operations’ carbon emissions.
There are a few startups chasing this market, and one promising company, Eion, is announcing a $12 million Series A today, TechCrunch has exclusively learned. The round was led by AgFunder and Ridgeline, with participation from Carbon Removal Partners, Mercator Partners, Orion, Overture, SLVC, Trailhead Capital and mineral supplier Sibelco, which the company has an off-take agreement with.
“We need a hockey-stick growth path to deal with the gigaton challenge that we have in front of us,” Eion founder and CEO Adam Wolf told TechCrunch. Enhanced rock weathering, he added, offers that potential.
Eion is one of the companies that Stripe’s climate program bought carbon credits from last year, and it’s been using that money to kick-start its operations. The new funding will allow the startup to finalize its methodology, expand operations and build a mill to crush rock to help produce its patented soil amendment called CarbonLock.