CO2 Capture Plants
Climeworks

What if we could stop climate change from reaching dangerous levels?

Climeworks technology is simple and efficient: By capturing CO2 from ambient air, a negative emissions future and truly circular carbon economy is enabled

 

What is carbon dioxide removal and why is it important?

Climate change is driven by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide into the air, causing global warming.

 

The 2016 Paris Agreement aims to keep the increase in the global average temperature to “well below” 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, in order to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change on the planet.

 

Although significant strides have been made in renewable energy and energy efficiency, these are not enough to meet the critical 2 °C target. Additional CO2 removal from the atmosphere will be required.

 

Climate change mitigation therefore urgently needs carbon removal technologies – a measure, that was referred to in all IPCC 1.5°C scenarios.

 

Climeworks carbon-capture plant on top of a waste incineration plant in Hinwil, Switzerland (© Julia Dunlop/Climeworks)

Importantly, CO2 removal is not only needed to enable negative emissions but also to achieve zero CO2 emissions globally. Sectors such as shipping and aviation do not yet have viable alternatives to fossil fuels. Traditional mitigation measures such as renewable energy can – even in the optimum scenario – only reduce CO2 by around 80 per cent. The rest must come from removing carbon dioxide from air.

 

© Climeworks

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) covers a number of approaches that reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. One technological approach is to capture CO2 from ambient air through engineered chemical reactions and that’s exactly what Climeworks does.

Climeworks solution is simple and efficient – it removes carbon dioxide from air

Climeworks has developed the first commercial carbon dioxide removal technology on the market today, allowing to physically remove any organisation’s or individual’s past, present and future CO2 emissions.

 

Their plants capture atmospheric carbon dioxide with a filter. Air is drawn into the plant and the CO2 within the air is chemically bound to the filter. Once the filter is saturated with CO2 it is heated, using mainly low-grade heat as an energy source. The CO2 is then released from the filter and collected as concentrated gas. The CO2-free air is released back into the atmosphere. This continuous cycle is then ready to start again. The filter is reused many times and lasts for several thousand cycles.

© Climeworks

The modular design allows plants to be easily scaled up to any size depending on needs, with an option to include special equipment.

 

The direct air capture approach has several advantages over other carbon removal technologies: it does not require water, is not dependant on arable land; has a small physical footprint; and is scalable.

Who’s it for?

The air-captured CO2 is sold as a raw material to customers in key markets, including food and beverage industries, commercial agriculture, the energy sector and the automotive industry and is thus temporarily stored in products like carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels and materials, carbonated drinks and in agriculture in fertilizers and subsequently in biomass.

 

 

This enables a truly circular carbon economy: conventional fossil-based CO2 is replaced with sustainable air-captured CO2 – an infinite resource. Wherever there is atmospheric air and a renewable energy source, plants can be installed. This ensures security of supply on site and eliminates the need for transportation.

© Climeworks

Another field of application comprises a form of geological storage: air-captured CO2 is injected into basaltic rock formations where it is mineralized and thus safely and permanently stored. Through this approach, industries can physically reverse their unavoidable CO2 emissions.

 

Meet the company behind the solution

Climeworks was founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, who decided to build a company together on the day they met at the ETH Zürich in 2003. The first system concepts and working prototypes were developed in the laboratories of the ETH. In 2009, the company was officially founded.

Climeworks founders and engineers, Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher (© Julia Dunlop/Climeworks)

In 2013, Audi becomes a customer and key partner. Since then, Climeworks has commissioned the world’s first commercial-scale direct air capture plant, assembled the largest team of experts in the field and gained serious international attention.

 

Nominierte Lösung: Climeworks CO2 Capture Plants

Firma: Climeworks AG

Weitere Informationen: www.climeworks.com