The Technology Behind Enhanced Rock Weathering and UNDO’s Success

It’s easy to think that enhanced rock weathering is as simple as “chucking rock around fields.” In very simple terms, we distribute rock on large tracts of land. To be more specific, we spread nutrient-rich, silicate rock fines on agricultural land to capture atmospheric CO₂ and provide co-benefits to farmers. But to understand how we can do this on a large scale and grasp the full capability of our solution, one needs to pull back the technological curtains that enable us to sell high-quality, quantifiable, and permanent carbon removal.

Our tech team spent some time looking for an appropriate data management solution, as we knew we’d be handling massive amounts of it. After all, we are processing everything from haulage and rock spread information to mineralogy testing, soil sample processes and weathering curve modelling; our Global Project Screener even mimics the entire Earth’s geology, rainfall, and climate! After discovering that no one system sufficiently fit our needs, we decided to build our own.  

NEWTON, At Our Operational Core

NEWTON is UNDO’s custom-built data platform for our global partners, carrying out our enhanced rock weathering (ERW) operations. It allows them to input spreading job data and gives us the capability to manage and translate operational and scientific data generated from ERW activities and research. This system integrates upstream (with operational partners and scientific laboratories) and downstream (with registries, intermediaries, and end-customers). NEWTON is a shortened form of ‘enhaNcEd WeaThering OperatioNs,’ and appropriately enables us to manage the rock spreading jobs carried out by our global contractor network in real-time. 

Only because of NEWTON can we take pride in our robust lifecycle analysis that boasts > 90% carbon efficiency. All spreading operations are GPS-tracked throughout their journey, with all emissions deducted at the point of verification. NEWTON absorbs this info and also houses rock mineralogy data tied to the location from each spread. This allows for a single tonne of CO₂ removed to be able to be tracked back to a specific rock type spread on a specific field, for 100% traceability.


Reaching gigatonne levels of annual removal will require the spreading of multiple billion tonnes of rock across hundreds of millions of hectares of land. Without NEWTON, UNDO and our delivery partners would rely on a convoluted system of manual reporting and wouldn’t be able to effectively prove our work. NEWTON enables us and our partners to plan all of our operations and manage all the resulting data. But our ultimate goal is to create carbon credits – for which we hand over to the next part of our solution – the UNDO Inventory Management System.

Carbon Credit Creation: Inventory Management System (IMS)

After all data has been entered into NEWTON and reviewed by our team, it becomes read-only. Our Inventory Management System (IMS) then takes the reins to generate our projected carbon credits. Every credit generated is linked back to the full set of source data used in its creation (quarry, rock sample, lab results, sequestration curve, haulage, spreading location, LCA, dates, contractors, etc.) To date, the IMS has now generated more than 10,000 projected carbon credits (pending verification by a third party).

Exploring New Territories: UNDO’s Global Project Screener

Separate from NEWTON and the IMS, we have also built a powerful mapping tool for visualising and analysing global geochemical, climatic and land-use data to assess the enhanced weathering potential of an area. The Global Project Screener is a GIS-based tool that integrates many different layers. The surficial basics volcanic layer is a global geology dataset that indicates areas where basalt rock exists at the surface of the earth. We also use the global GEOROC database (Geochemistry of Rocks of the Oceans and Continents) for geochemistry.  

These datasets are a combination of open-source bulk data, data from subscription sources and proprietary data, and include Koppen-Geiger Climate Zones, as well as individual layers for soil pH, precipitation and temperature. Their holistic integration allows for an unparalleled ability to assess the many factors that impact the suitability of an area for enhanced rock weathering on a large scale. The Global Project Screener increases our search efficiency for potential expansion and reduces sampling costs through more targeted assessment. 

Data Integrity is King

You’ve probably heard the popular data-related phrase, “garbage in, garbage out.” The information and intelligence you glean from your systems are only as good as the quality of your initial data. Another useful aphorism? “You can only manage what you can measure.” 

For any CDR technology working in open systems, trustworthy project data is critical to maintain trust in the carbon being removed from the atmosphere. We need to know exactly how much rock has been spread, the specific mineralogy, and be able to prove that these operations have been delivered, all whilst tracking accurate project emissions from quarry to field (and back). This data may be simple to collect manually when spreading hundreds or even thousands of tonnes of rock in a single location or region, but this presents a significant challenge when scaling to the gigatonne levels required, which will see global operations being delivered 24/7.

As Good as Our Tools

The technology that underpins our data management and operations is world-class and indispensable. Our proprietary systems:

– Ingest data from our scientific trial sites and our carbon removal operations
– Track and manage our projected carbon credit generation
– Help us explore potential operations sites worldwide

Through NEWTON, the IMS, and the Global Project Screener, we can accurately monitor our operations, measure our impact and maximise our efficiency. Without them, we could not smartly scale. We could not demonstrate the efficacy of what we are doing. We could not gain the trust of the market. And we could certainly not sell our carbon.

So yes, we do “chuck rock around fields.” But just like the atmospheric removal of CO₂, the key to our operation lies in the processes you do not see.

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