Project Vesta is a non-profit promoting accelerated weathering of volcanic olivine as a climate drawdown strategy in order to capture carbon absorbed in the world's oceans. The organization is headquartered in San Francisco and founded in 2019. They are focused on increasing the volume and quality of the scientific evidence behind accelerated weathering, in order to make it an economically viable opportunity for atmospheric carbon removal. Vesta claims that their goal is US$10 a ton for reaching economic viability, but some critics do not think this is viable. Executive director Tom Green claims "If we spread olivine over 2% of the world’s shelf sea, then that will be enough to capture 100% of human emissions.” To promote further adoption of the technology, they publish all of their science and methods open source.
The Project Vesta process mimics natural weathering processes to transform the olivine into silicates and other stable chemicals, like calcium carbonate which precipitate to the oceans bottoms as marine life consumes the naturally occurring chemical and die (see Carbon in the water cycle for further info). The wave action of beaches on crushed olivine allows for more rapid weathering than other natural deposits of olivine, which only absorb limited amounts of carbon dioxide. Vesta announced in May 2020, that they began a controlled trials of the approach in two private beaches in the Caribbean and are looking for other sites to experiment. The experiment was funded by a mix of crowdfunding, grants and carbon capture credits by companies like Stripe who purchased 3,333 tons of carbon sequestration for $75 a ton. As part of the pilot experiments, they are monitoring whether the approach releases any toxics from the olivine, such as bioavailable nickel, in high concentrations into water.
- "A Caribbean beach could offer a crucial test in the fight to slow climate change". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
- Delbert, Caroline (2020-06-11). "How This Strange Green Sand Could Reverse Climate Change". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
- Peters, Adele (2020-05-29). "Ever been to a green sand beach? The newest geohack to fight climate change". Fast Company. Retrieved 2020-11-06.