Did you know we now have technology that can suck CO2 right out of thin air? This is not a hoax this is the real deal. A Switzerland based company, Climeworks, claims to do just that. The potentially revolutionary technology is claimed to be able to suck in 900 tons of CO2 emissions per year. It doesn’t stop just there; the absorbed CO2 could then be potentially repurposed and resold.
The company was founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, who first came up with the idea in 2008 after visiting the greenhouses of agricultural enterprise Gebrüder Meier Primanatura AG in Hinwil, Switzerland. Christoph and Jan noticed the farm was ordering tanks of CO2 that were delivered by a truck that had to cover large distances. The duo had the idea to filter CO2 directly from ambient air and sell it on to Gebrüder Meier as a raw material delivered via gas pipeline.
Fast-forward to 2018 and they now have the first commercial viable proof of concept for its CO2 removal technology.
Now 900 tons of CO2 per year is but a tiny amount in the grand scheme of things. According to data from the US Department of Energy, the country producing the highest levels of CO2 emissions was China. The most populous country in the world puffed up 2,806,634 thousand metric tons. That’s a whole lot of gas! The second high polluter was the US of A smoking up 1,432,855 thousand metric tons.
While the technology is still a far cry from reverse engineering our way out of climate change and pollution. It represents a first stepping point for a technology many people are skeptical about.
“Climeworks captures CO2 from air with the world’s first commercial carbon removal technology. Our direct air capture plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere to supply to customers and to unlock a negative emissions future.”
Climeworks is not only talking the talk, but walking the walk as well. The company is out proving its technology in the market place. One of the first demonstrations of the innovative tech was with Swiss municipal waste disposal company, KEZO. Eighteen Climeworks CO2 collectors were installed on top of the roof of the KEZO’s waste utilization plant. With this proof of concept, the Swiss “startup” hopes this is a first step towards a zero emissions future.
You can learn more about the technology and the people behind the company at http://www.climeworks.com/.