Carbfix joins forces with Removr for 100,000 tonne DAC plant

Norway-based carbon dioxide (CO2) removal company Removr has signed a deal with CO2 storage firm Carbfix to store 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from Removr’s first large-scale direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) plant in Iceland.

The agreement will see Carbix employing its novel storage solution that turns CO2 into stone via underground mineralisation in less than two years.

Prior to the 100,000 tonnes plant, Removr plans to launch its first 2,000 tonnes commercial plant in Iceland in 2025.

According to the company, this facility aims to provide further key learnings towards improving energy efficiency and reducing footprint at a larger scale.

Iceland is considered an ideal location for developing DACCS due to its easy access to critical infrastructure and a value chain which is at the forefront of DACCS development.

Born out of the idea that carbon removal will be required for the world to reach its Net Zero targets by 2050, Removr’s technology is currently on its fourth pilot, which a 50 tonne per year carbon capture prototype currently in operation by partner GreenCap Solutions of Norway.

Funded through Norway’s first ever grant to DACCS, the pilot will have the capacity to capture 300 tonnes of CO2 per year and will begin operations in 2024.

Commenting on the agreement, Einar Tyssen, CEO of Removr, said, “The world is falling further behind the path to Net Zero and industrialising DACCS is set to to play a major role in turning this trend.”

“Therefore, we are delighted to partner with Carbfix which will allow us to move forward rapidly with our stepwise scaling approach.”

As the world’s first CO2 mineral storage operator, Carbfix aims to harness the highly reactive nature of porous basaltic formations in Iceland to permanently store the captured CO2.

Carbon mineralisation is the process by which CO2 becomes a solid mineral, such as a carbonate. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), it occurs through a chemical reaction that happens when certain rocks are exposed to CO2.

Its biggest advantage is that the carbon cannot escape back to the atmosphere.

There are two main types of geologic carbon mineralisation: injection of CO2 into rock formations deep underground, or exposure to broken pieces of rock at the surface, such as leftovers from mining, called mine tailings.

The two primary rock types that have the potential for mineralisation through injection are basalt and a broad category of rocks called ultramafic, such as serpentine.

CO2 can be injected into rocks such as serpentine, before it mineralises and becomes permanently stored.

When it comes to cost, storing carbon in sedimentary basins is considered the cheapest method. When stored in brine-filled sedimentary reservoirs, it costs around $7-13 per metric tonne of CO2. However, due to variable conditions, this could increase to between $20-80.

Based on limited results from a few pilot projects, carbon mineralisation in deep underground basaltic formations could be around $30 per metric tonne of CO2, leading the USGS to suggest that the most effective use for carbon mineralisation is as an option to complement sedimentary brine carbon storage.

In addition to advancing mineralisation as a form of CO2 storage, the agreement is seen by Edda Aradóttir, CEO of Carbfix, as a step towards industrialising DACCS.

“Combining Removr’s DAC concept with Carbfix’s leading storage solution marks a new tangible step towards industrialising DACCS,” she said. “We look forward to further developing our partnership with Removr.

Removr is currently in talks with Iceland’s ON Power to secure the renewable electricity required to sustainably run both its 2,000 and 100,000 tonne plants.

“Limiting global warming to 1.5C requires permanent and immediate carbon removal measures. These measures cannot be successful without a well-functioning value chain for DACCS, “added Tyssen.

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