Icelandic company ON Power is supplying the renewable geothermal energy to power the DAC process, in which fans draw atmospheric air through a filter that selectively captures CO2. When the filter is full, it is heated to 100oC, and it is released from the filter and mixed with water. As part of the Carbfix process, the aqueous solution is pumped underground, where it reacts with basaltic rock, turns into stone, where it remains. The whole process is verified and certified by independent third parties, report Climeworks.

Climeworks’ goal is to reach megatonne carbon removal capacity by 2030 and gigatonne scale by 2050.

Beyond Iceland, the company is developing multiple megatonne hubs in the US, with operational and testing experience derived from its two commercial plants in Iceland. It is also looking to develop projects in Norway, Kenya and Canada.

Carbon capture needs to be significantly scaled up to meet the pathways described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. According to the IPCC, the world must remove an estimated 3–12 Gt of CO2 from the air annually by 2050, with DAC+S expected to play an important role.

New research breakthroughs

In related news, a new type of porous material that can store CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) has been developed by a team of scientists led by Heriot-Watt University.

In collaboration with the University of Liverpool, Imperial College London, the University of Southampton, and East China University of Science and Technology in China, the scientists used computer modelling to predict how the molecules could assemble themselves into hollow, cage-like structures with high storage capacities for GHG like CO2 and sulphur hexafluoride. Sulphur hexafluoride is a more potent GHG than CO2 and can last thousands of years in the atmosphere. The research has been published in the journal Nature Synthesis.

Meanwhile, in a separate project, Heriot-Watt University scientists claim to have cut the time required for modelling carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods from 100 days down to just 24 hours using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) simulators. The ECO-AI research project, run in partnership with Imperial College London, is looking to develop energy-efficient solvents for CO2 capture and facilitate the permanent storage of captured CO2 in deep geological formations.

‘By harnessing the power of AI, our researchers can replace standard techniques for modelling complex processes. Tasks that would typically require more than three months of supercomputer simulations can now be achieved in just a day. This game-changing capability not only accelerates research progress but also drastically reduces the associated time and costs, making CCS more accessible and scalable,’ say the scientists.

Extracted from Energy Institute website - read more here

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