Mineral Accretion Technology (“MAT”), is a process of electrolytic deposition of limestone (calcium carbonate) from seawater using low-voltage electricity.
One MegaWatt-hour (1.0 MWh) of electricity generates approximately half a metric tonne (0.5 tonne) of limestone.
To date, there are around 500 small-scale coral reef restoration projects around the world using MAT. The power source varies among the projects:
For projects further out from the coastline, running cables over a long distance becomes cost prohibitive, requiring some form of offshore power generating capacity.
Early attempts have been made by adapting solar panels for use offshore, with varying degrees of success, but with the harsh marine environment, all of them eventually suffer material failure.
Over the past years, many new companies have sprung up that are focused on developing innovative renewable energy systems that can be deployed in the open ocean.
Many of these companies and their proprietary systems are still in the development phase or pre-commercial application stage. These are the type of innovative that the Ocean Life Foundation would look to support with funding, management and dynamic collaborations.
The low power requirements of MAT requires small-scale power systems. Although the list below is not exhaustive, it demonstrates the potential systems that are available for MAT projects and applications:
Offshore floating solar