Iceland gets world’s largest plant capturing carbon dioxide from air- Check details

The world's largest plant in Iceland capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air will be able to suck up to 4,000 tons of CO2 per year.  The amount of carbon captured by the plant will be equal to the annual emissions from about 790 cars.

Created On: Sep 13, 2021 17:33 ISTModified On: Sep 13, 2021 17:33 IST

The world’s largest plant that can capture carbon dioxide directly from the air and can deposit it underground started operating on September 8, 2021, in Iceland. The news was shared by the company behind the nascent green technology.

Swiss start-up Climeworks AG, which specializes in capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air, partnered with Icelandic carbon storage firm ‘Carbfix’. 

Climeworks, which has recently signed a 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement with a major insurance firm, also offers a subscription service allowing consumers to pay for the carbon removal through monthly payments.

Significance:

The plant in Iceland will be able to suck out up to 4,000 tons of Carbon dioxide per year.  The amount of carbon captured by the plant will be equal to the annual emissions from about 790 cars. As per the International Energy Agency, in 2020, the global CO2 emissions totaled 31.5 billion tonnes.

Plant capturing CO2 from air in Iceland: How will it work?

•  The Orca plant which is a reference to the Icelandic work of energy consists of eight large containers that are similar in looks to those that are used in the shipping industry 

•  The plant will employ high-tech filters and fans to extract carbon dioxide directly from the air.

•  The isolated carbon will be then mixed with water and will be pumped deep underground, where it will slowly turn into rock.

•  Both the technologies will be powered by renewable energy sourced from a nearby geothermal plant.

What is Direct air capture technology?

It is one of the few technologies that extract carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. The technology is viewed by scientists as vital to limit global warming which is blamed for causing wildfires, heatwaves, rising sea levels, and floods.

Direct air capture is still a costly technology, however, the developers hope to drive down the prices by scaling up as more consumers and companies are looking to reduce their carbon print.

As per the International Agency, currently, there are 15 direct air capture plants that have been operating worldwide, capturing more than 9,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide per year.

Direct air capture facility in the US:

Occidental, US Oil Firm, has also been currently developing the largest direct air-capture facility. It will pull 1 million tonnes per year of Carbon Dioxide from the open air near some of its Texas Oilfields.

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