Climeworks’ first commercial direct air capture (DAC) plant is now market-ready.
The company will hold a grand opening in Hinwil near Zürich, Switzerland, on 31st May, to officially signify the occasion, where special guest speaker Julio Friedmann, a US expert in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, will talk about DAC and the pressing need for negative emission technologies.
The plant will annually capture 900 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air, enhancing the growth of vegetables and lettuce in a neighbouring greenhouse of Gebrü der Meier Primanatura AG by up to 20%.
The main aim of the project, under a total development cost of around €3-4m ($3.2-4.3m), is to industrialise the company’s unique DAC technology and continuously operate the industrial-scale plant that captures CO2 from ambient air.
The Switzerland-based business commissioned its first industrial-scale CO2 capture unit in late 2014 dubbed the ‘CO2 Collector’, which captures 50 tonnes of CO2 per year.
During adsorption, atmospheric CO2 is chemically bound to the sorbent’s surface and once saturated, the sorbent is heated to 100°C to drive off and deliver high-purity, gaseous CO2. The DAC technology is currently patent-pending.
In the short-term, Climeworks will sell its air-captured CO2 to large merchant markets in the greenhouse and beverage sectors before moving onto provide atmospheric CO2 for low-carbon fuel production in the mid-term. A press release signified that this will “allow large-scale storage of renewable energies and which further allows CO2 sources which are otherwise hard to capture to be addressed.”