Yesterday Swiss climate technology company Climeworks announced about the start of construction of its largest plant, which will capture carbon dioxide from the air. The new plant called Mammoth will significantly expand the company’s capacity in Iceland.
Earlier, Climeworks built a similar Orca plant here. At the time of its launch last September, it was the largest such venture in the world. The Orca could capture up to 4,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, roughly the amount emitted by 790 vehicles in a year. Instead, Mammoth will be able to capture 9 times more carbon dioxide.
Climeworks expects the plant to take 18 to 24 months to build. Captured carbon dioxide is planned to be stored in nearby rock cavities to avoid the construction of environmentally unfriendly pipelines.
One of the challenges of Direct Air Capture technology as a way to reduce pollution is the need to supply plants with sufficient energy. Fortunately, both Mammoth and Orca are being built at a geothermal park in Hellishead, Iceland. They use renewable geothermal energy and waste heat to separate CO2 from the air.
Larger plant is now under construction in Texas, will be able capture up to 1 million tons of carbon dioxide when operational in 2025. However, it will use a different type of filtration that will require higher temperatures. As a result, the plant will operate on a combination of fossil and renewable energy and will also capture carbon dioxide from its own “production”.