Genetically engineered phytoplankton might be used to photosynthetically convert CO2 into an ultra-stable carbon sequestration medium. A biological approach allows for a programmable and self-replicating technology that can work at any scale. When coupled with photosynthetic carbon fixation, genetically engineered organisms present an incredibly scalable approach for Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). We propose to take advantage of the vast, unused photosynthetic potential of our oceans with genetically engineered carbon sequestration phytoplankton.
The problem is that most of the good places to do photosynthesis are already taken. This map shows where photosynthesis is most and least active. As shown on the map, large portions of the ocean lack the nutrients necessary for photosynthesis. These same areas receive a lot solar energy and could be an incredibly powerful approach for CDR. New biotechnology approaches could dramatically increase the photosynthetic capacity of our planet. This section explores how we might use existing biology in new ways or even create new biology to turn the ocean into a giant, light-driven carbon sink using genetically engineered phytoplankton.