By October 23, 2017 Read More →

First ever Co2 capture turns carbon from air into rocks

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Basalt core containing carbonates – Photo by Sandra O Snaebjornsdottir

Plant near Zurich filters 900 tons of CO2 from atmosphere and supplies local greenhouse

Switzerland-based Climeworks has installed one of its direct carbon capture modules on-site in Iceland that captures carbon dioxide from ambient air for permanent storage underground, according to a press release.

The EU-backed collaborative research project centres around one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi, Iceland, where CO2 is currently injected and mineralized at an industrial scale.

Scientific studies have warned that the two-degree climate target is not achievable without carbon removal solutions. Carbon negative solutions are also likely to be a key theme at the UN Climate Conference COP 23 starting in Bonn next month.

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A testing phase has started during which the CO2 is captured from ambient air, bound to water, and sent more than 700 meters underground.

There the CO2 reacts with the basaltic bedrock and forms solid minerals, creating a permanent storage solution.

Climeworks’ technology draws in ambient air and captures the CO2 with a patented filter. The filter is then heated with low-grade heat from the geothermal plant to release the pure CO2 which then can be stored underground.

“The potential of scaling-up our technology in combination with CO2 storage, is enormous. Not only here in Iceland but also in numerous other regions which have similar rock formations. Our plan is to offer carbon removal to individuals, corporates and organizations as a means to reverse their non-avoidable carbon emissions,”  said Christoph Gebald, founder and CEO of Climeworks.

During the trial Climeworks says it will test how its technology works with the specific weather conditions at the location in the South West of Iceland.

“We have developed CarbFix at a unique location here in Iceland and proved that we can permanently turn this greenhouse gas into rock. By imitating natural processes this happens in less than two years,” said Edda Sif Aradóttir, CarbFix project leader at Reykjavik Energy

The CarbFix2 project is a major step forward for DAC technology. Earlier this year the company made history with the world’s first commercially-viable DAC plant near Zurich which filters 900 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and supplies it to a local greenhouse.

“By integrating the Climeworks and CarbFix technologies we create a solution that is deployable where we have basalt but independent of the location of emissions. This is important to scale up the CarbFix approach on a global level,”  said Aradóttir.

CarbFix2 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and is led by Iceland’s multi-utility company Reykjavik Energy.

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