• By The Financial District

U.S. Seeks To Implement Cheap, Large-Scale Carbon Capture Tech

A new initiative from the US Department of Energy (DOE) makes technologies for capturing and storing carbon dioxide a key pillar in its plan to tackle climate change, and sets out to craft a viable system to store the greenhouse gas on a massive scale by mid-century, Nick Lavars reported for New Atlas.


Photo Insert: Climeworks' Orca is the world’s largest direct air capture and storage plant that permanently removes CO2 from the air.



Though the idea has been around for decades, the idea of extracting carbon dioxide from the air has gathered momentum in the past few years, largely on the back of startups making some key inroads in the space.


A notable example is Swiss startup Climeworks, whose Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems collect CO2 from the ambient air and turn it into solid minerals that can be stored underground



This technology was brought to life in the world's first negative emission power plant in 2017, and earlier this year the company opened the world's largest DAC plant in Iceland.


Called Orca, the plant has the capacity to harvest around 4,000 tons of CO2 from the air each year. For context, humans pump out more than 30 billion tons, or 30 gigatons, into the air on a yearly basis.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

So while the technology has been successfully demonstrated on a small scale, the world would need many Orcas to properly put a dent in the problem. And then comes the cost.


Climeworks was able to capture a ton of CO2 for around $600 when it first opened its negative emissions plant in 2017, but by using a modular design for its DAC systems, expects this cost to come down toward $100 per ton as it scales up operations. And this price point is a commonly held target among carbon capture startups.


Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

Canadian company Carbon Engineering is currently working on a large-scale DAC plant capable of capturing up to one million tons of CO2 and hopes to do so for a cost of $94 to $232 per ton.


Australian startup Southern Green Gas plans to tap into the country's abundant sunlight to fuel solar-powered DAC plants that collect tons of carbon for as little as $72 apiece.



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