Climate Change Breakthrough: Large-scale capture of atmospheric CO₂/RNN
Our latest update on carbon capture. This will be a significant part of our clean air strategy going forward, and represents, a huge leap in technology and general ability to faster pull emissions out of our eco-system.
On June 7, Carbon Engineering (CE), a Canadian-based clean energy company, has published new research that proves CO₂ can now be captured from the atmosphere for less than $100USD per ton. Released in a peer-reviewed paper, CE’s breakthroughs in Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology demonstrate, for the first time, a scalable and cost-effective solution for removing CO₂ from the atmosphere.
The implications of CE’s proven DAC technology on climate strategy are twofold – it allows the removal of existing CO₂ from the air to counteract emissions too challenging or costly to eliminate at source, and enables the production of clean fuels that can significantly reduce transportation emissions. These outcomes accelerate the shift to a “net zero” world that avoids the risks of climate change while affordably delivering clean energy.
The research was led by David Keith, a Harvard Professor and founder of CE, and published by Joule, a leading scientific journal dedicated to ground-breaking energy research. The findings are based on three years’ research from CE’s pilot plant located in Squamish, B.C.
Keith explains, “Until now, research suggested it would cost $600USD per ton to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere using DAC technology, making it too expensive to be a feasible solution to removing legacy carbon at scale. At CE, we’ve been working on direct air capture since 2009, running our pilot plant since 2015, and we now have the data and engineering to prove that DAC can achieve costs below $100USD per ton. No prior research in the peer-reviewed literature provides a design and engineering cost for a complete DAC system– and this paper fills that gap.”
CE is now commercializing DAC technology through integration with the company’s AIR TO FUELS™ process, which uses water electrolysis and fuels synthesis to produce clean liquid hydrocarbon fuels that are drop-in compatible with existing transportation infrastructure. CE has proven both DAC and AIR TO FUELS™ technologies and has been capturing CO₂ from the atmosphere since 2015 and converting it into fuels since December 2017.