Sucking CO2 From the Air


Swiss firm Climeworks has announced the opening of the world’s first CO2 capture plant. It will grab carbon dioxide from the air around a waste incinerator and stock it for resale to a nearby greenhouse. The carbon dioxide will be filtered, absorbed by sponges and heated to 100°, transforming it into a valuable solid fertilizer. The absorption-desorption process takes advantage of an innovative filter material to create purified CO2 in a single step. The 900 tons to be delivered to the greenhouse annually should increase production by 20 to 30%. Other potential markets include the food and beverage industry and the production of renewable materials. Unsold CO2 can be stored underground to reduce global warming. The company can build plants handling anywhere from 50 to a million tons of CO2 per year. However, to capture just one percent of global emissions would require the installation of 750,000 containerized collectors.

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