World’s Largest Direct Air Carbon Capture Plant Will Suck up 36,000 Tonnes of CO2 from the Air per Year

By: | July 7th, 2022

An illustration of what the facility will look like when completed ( Image courtesy: Climeworks)

We need to lower carbon emissions to address the issue of global warming.

The possibility of capturing carbon dioxide or carbon capture and storage could be key to tackling global warming.

The idea of vacuuming CO2 out of the air has started getting word’s attention and with that hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.

Climeworks, a Swiss-based Carbon dioxide removal start-up has recently informed that it is building the world’s biggest plant in Iceland. Climeworks AG specializes in carbon dioxide air capture technology. It filters the CO2 directly from the ambient air through industrial and chemical processes.

The start-up’s plant in Iceland will be able to capture 36,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide CO2 per year and store it underground. The plant will use geothermal power to operate. It will suck carbon from the air and mix it with water, then inject it into the ground where it reacts with basalt to form solid carbonate rock.

This may be just a sliver of the total global emissions of carbon dioxide released into the air each year

Last year, a record 36 billion tonnes of energy-related CO2 emissions, their highest ever level produced worldwide.

Capturing just .0001% of the 36 billion tons of CO2 might seem minuscule but Climeworks’ targets are much higher than where Climeworks is right now.

Climeworks aims to remove one billion tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2050

As per co-founder and co-CEO Jan Wurzbacher, “We started with milligrams of carbon dioxide captured from the air. Then we went from milligrams to grams, from grams to kilograms to tons to 1,000 tons. So we did quite a couple of these steps already.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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