The world’s largest direct carbon capture plant just went online

Swiss startup Climeworks has done it again. The company just opened the world’s largest carbon capture plant in Iceland, dwarfing its own record for how much CO2 it can remove from the air. The company’s previous record carbon capture plant, Orca, of the atmosphere per year, but the new plant can handle about ten times that, .

The plant is called Mammoth and boasts 72 industrial fans capable of removing 36,000 tons of CO2 from the air each year. As with the Orca, the CO2 is not recycled. It is stored underground and eventually trapped in the rock, removing it permanently (within reason) from the environment. The factory is actually located on a dormant volcano, so it would make a great hideout for a James Bond villain if it were to shut down.

The site was chosen for its proximity to the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, which is used to power the plant’s fans and thermal chemical filters to remove CO2 with water vapor. After extraction, the CO2 is separated from the steam, compressed and dissolved in water. Finally, it is pumped 2,300 feet underground into volcanic basalt. This compound reacts with magnesium, calcium and iron in the rock to form crystals and become a solid reservoir of CO2. It’s pretty cool technology.

However, this is not the final solution to climate change. It’s almost a blow. For the world to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2050, “we need to remove 6 to 16 billion tons of CO2 from the air per year,” said Jan Wurzbacher, founder of Climeworks. .

That’s the problem. The largest of its kind by a wide margin, the facility can capture up to 36,000 tons of CO2 from the air each year, but that’s only 0.0006 percent of what Wurzbacher points out is needed to meet the minimum annual emission limit. Of course there are other plants, but all of them combined do not make a serious dent in what is required to pull us over the edge.

To that end, Wurzbacher asked other companies to take on the job. According to him, Climeworks aims to reach millions of tons per year by 2030 and one billion by 2050. The company’s chief technology officer, Carlos Haertel, said. 60 Minutes states that the process can be scaled up globally, but requires political will to rally behind the initiative.

The Biden administration to start the industry here in the provinces and for a pair of large-scale projects. US Department of Energy Carbon Negative Shot aims to promote the development of budget-friendly carbon capture technology.

The carbon capture method employed by Climeworks is just one of many approaches. These processes range from stacks of limestone blocks that absorb CO2 like sponges chemical compound. Reforestation is another option that companies like experienced with Which is the best? They are all deployed globally together. Whatever you need. Climate change .

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