Friday, November 11, 2016

Climeworks presents CO2 capture from air at COP22 Low-Emissions Solutions conference

At COP22 (Marrakech, November 7th to 16th) the Swiss Direct Air  Capture developers and Earth Challenge finalists Climeworks is chosen as one of 20 startups presenting their technologies at the “Low-Emissions Solutions conference”.

During the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, a “large-scale technical-solutions conference” is taking place for senior delegates by UNFCCC and experts of technology of the 196 states. Within the three-day conference, attendees will see presentations by 20 chosen cleantech start-ups. Each will introduce themselves, their innovations and their visions for scale.

One of those ventures will be Climeworks: showing the state of the art of its direct air capture systems, targeting efficient solution to filter CO2 from ambient air and sharing their vision for it potential for climate protection.

Climeworks_002_0023 V2Cimeworks’ CO2 collector system. Image credit: Climeworks AG

Climeworks’ CO2 Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology is based on a cyclic capture-regeneration process and a novel filter. During the capture process, atmospheric CO2 is chemically bound to the surface of the filter. Once the filter is saturated, the CO2 is released by heating it to a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius. This produces high-purity gaseous CO2. The CO2-free filter can be re-used for thousands of capture-regeneration cycles. DAC developers like Climeworks are targeting significant emissions reductions through the production of low-carbon fuels, and long term pathways to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere when combined with permanent downstream storage of the captured carbon.

The Climeworks founders have set themselves an ambitious goal: to capture one percent of global CO2 emissions by 2025. Simply by changing the number of modules, Climeworks expects their DAC technology can be freely scaled to meet the demands of any sustainable industrial application, and that it could have a carbon removal potential that is relevant for achieving climate targets agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.

Long term plans

Climeworks’ products have several commercial applications: In the short-term the company targets large merchant markets by selling air-captured CO2 to customers like greenhouse operators or the beverage industry, which currently receive their CO2 primarily as an industrial waste product, often from the combustion of fossil fuels. Or from CO2 gas taken out the ground.

In the mid-term, Climeworks seeks to close the carbon cycle by providing atmospheric CO2 for the production of low-carbon fuels. Such renewable fuels, it’s hoped, would further enable the large-scale storage of renewable energy (as the energy would be locked up in the fuel). For this reason, the company is in a close partnership with carmaker Audi.

In the long-term and in combination with storage pathways, Climeworks, along with their competitors, view DAC as a potentially critical technology for future industries that could capture and permanently remove several gigatonness of atmospheric CO2 per year.

About Climeworks AG

Climeworks AG was founded at the end of 2009 as a spin-off company of the ETH Zurich. Since then, it has been developing its proprietary Direct Air Capture technology from laboratory to industrial scale.

Video courtesy of Climeworks AG

In late 2014, Climeworks commissioned its first industrial scale CO2 capture unit – called ‘CO2 Collector’ – with a capacity of capturing 50 tons CO2 per year. The CO2 Collector has been operating successfully since that time.

The company is currently assembling the worldwide first commercial DAC plant with a capacity of capturing 900 tons of CO2 per year which will be commissioned in spring 2017.

Find out more at:

Twitter: @climeworks

You can read Climeworks’ original press release [here]