Cheap Carbon Capture Technology Might Make Our Climate Goals Possible

Cheap Carbon Capture Technology Might Make Our Climate Goals Possible

Cheap Carbon Capture Technology Might Make Our Climate Goals Possible

Carbon Engineering claims that by burning the company's gas in the auto, no fresh carbon-dioxide is released from the tailpipe and into Earth's atmosphere as this carbon dioxide came from the air in the first place.

The Swiss company Climeworks has a 900 ton of Carbon dioxide per year commercial facility that has been operating since 2017.

Keith is also a founder and executive chairman of Carbon Engineering, a Bill Gates-funded company that has studied how to directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "We now have the data and engineering to prove that DAC can achieve costs below $100 per ton".

The facility uses "contactors", sort of the opposite of a smokestack, to suck in air and expose it to an alkaline liquid that Carbon dioxide naturally wants to combine with.

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"Direct air collection is a politically promising way to get rid of carbon dioxide", said Oliver Geden of the German Institute for global and Security Affairs. Every year the world burns enough fossil fuels to add close to 40 billion tonnes of CO2. Our technology is scalable, flexible and demonstrated. "That's why we think we have a reasonable possibility of scaling up". "So we hope it is really a turning point".

One of the main problems with the technology to date has simply been one of scale and, more importantly, cost.

The projected costs of direct air capture range from less than $100 per tonne when it is part of a fuels plant, to $250 per tonne when it used for pure sequestration that requires compression of the gas and additional capital costs for a stand-alone operation, concluded the paper which was published in the journal, Joule. And if it ran on wind- or solar-generated electricity, the fuel would be nearly carbon neutral.

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.

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The company believes it can produce virtually-zero-carbon fuel at cost roughly 25 per cent higher than that of traditional gasoline, but will see even greater revenues due to various climate-change policies that put a premium on low-carbon alternatives. Working with an independent engineering consultancy, Carbon Engineering has extrapolated the cost of building the process out to scale and integrating it with renewable energy.

"It costs more than a barrel of oil right now, but in places with a price on carbon of $20 a ton we're competitive", Oldham said in an interview. "These guys actually have something you can measure", says Stephen Pacala, an ecologist with Princeton University who is chairing a panel on carbon removal technologies for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. "We're ready to build a much larger plant".

Putting a price on carbon has been crucial to Carbon Engineering's development, said Oldham.

Keith and the Carbon Engineering team have raised about US$30 million so far, and their next step will be to raise funding for a plant that can deliver fuels to market.

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Researchers say they have developed a cost-efficient way to extract carbon dioxide from the air and make fuel from it for cars, trucks, or airplanes. "California, especially, has a low carbon fuel standard, Canada's developing a standard ... but these standards to reward low-carbon fuels are starting".

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