How is carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere? One of the key ways to stop global warming is through direct air capture technology.
With our technology, we capture carbon dioxide directly from the air; removing unavoidable and historic CO₂ emissions. The air-captured carbon dioxide can either be recycled and used as a raw material, or completely removed from the air by safely storing it. Direct air capture, therefore, is one of the key ways to stop global warming by reducing the amount of potentially harmful CO₂ in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Our machines consist of modular CO₂ collectors that can be stacked to build machines of any size. Climeworks direct air capture machines are powered solely by renewable energy or energy-from-waste. Grey emissions are below 10%, which means that out of 100 tons of carbon dioxide that our machines capture from the air, at least 90 tons are permanently removed and only up to 10 tons are re-emitted.
One of the key ways to stop global warming is to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is done through our CO₂ collectors that selectively capture carbon dioxide in a two-step process. First, air is drawn into the collector with a fan. Carbon dioxide is captured on the surface of a highly selective filter material that sits inside the collectors. Second, after the filter material is full with carbon dioxide, the collector is closed. We increase the temperature to between 80 and 100 °C – this releases the carbon dioxide. Finally, we can collect this high-purity, high-concentration carbon dioxide.
Leading scientific studies indicate that by mid-century 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide will need to be removed from the air every year. Direct air capture is one solution that can help achieve this goal. In order to scale direct air capture up to the levels required, we need to start today and #actnow.
In an exemplary carbon dioxide removal project, we have joined forces with the Icelandic company Carbfix. Carbfix has a strong scientific backbone and is one of the world experts in rapid underground mineralization of carbon dioxide. The Carbfix process centres around the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant, which provides the renewable energy we need to run the Climeworks machines.
We remove carbon dioxide from the air with our direct air capture machines. Carbfix then mixes the carbon dioxide with water and pumps it deep underground. Through natural mineralization, the carbon dioxide reacts with the basalt rock and turns into stone within a few years.
The carbon dioxide is thus removed from the air and returned to earth, permanently and safely. With our machine-based solution, we can exactly measure how much carbon dioxide has been removed and turned into stone.