A new carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and conversion plant is set to be co-located at Nutrien’s fertilizer operations plant in Kennewick, Washington, US, as a result of a new collaboration between AirCapture and OCOchem.

The firms on Monday (25th April) unveiled plans to design an integrated carbon capture and conversion plant that uses waste steam from the fertilizer facility to extract CO2 from the air and covert it, with water and electricity, to make formic acid.

Once formed, the acid can then be stored, transported and used directly in many industrial, consumer, transportation and agricultural industries, and used to transport green hydrogen safely in an energy-dense liquid carrier.

Already, the project has received great traction, with the US Department of Energy (DOE) having awarded a $2.93m to support the design and engineering of the plant.

Matt Atwood, founder and CEO of AirCapture, said, “As the world continues to face climate change challenges, developing scalable and cost-efficient decarbonisation solutions has become increasingly important.”

“Our modular, on-site technology that takes CO2 from the air and puts it directly into our customers’ production processes addresses climate challenges while bringing value to our customers and is a perfect fit for this project with Nutrien.”

“We are excited to work with OCOchem and our other partners as we continue to make advancements in this critical space.”

As well as providing a variety of other benefits, the project partners hope the effort will also help Nutrien cut its carbon emissions by at least 30% by 2030.

Todd Brix, co-founder and CEO of OCOchem, added, “Every manufacturer that is emitting steam and/or CO2 from the air can, with our collective approach, build facilities to use waste steam to take CO2 out of the air or from their process emissions and use the CO2 to make a valuable platform chemical.”

“We are converting common industrial waste streams into product streams. This processes of using industrial waste steam to capture CO2 from the air and converting it to a usable chemical is an energy, atom, and cost-efficient way for many companies to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and products.”

“The goal of this engineering study is to establish a technical and economic basis for Nutrien and other manufacturers to use their waste heat to capture and convert CO2 co-located with their existing plants. We hope this technology can then be incorporated into other facilities with waste steam in other industries as well.”