A unique enterprise has been opened in the United States. Its work is aimed at absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This was reported by Slashdot with reference to The New York Times.

The facility was built by Heirloom Carbon Technologies. It is located in California and is considered the first such plant in the United States. According to some scientists, the technology at the plant could be crucial to the fight against climate change.

The plant is quite small – it will absorb a maximum of 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equal to the emissions from about 200 cars. But Heirloom hopes for faster growth.

“We want to get to millions of tons per year,” said Shashank Samala, the company’s chief executive. “That means copying and pasting this basic design over and over.”

Heirloom technology is based on simple chemistry. The main role in this process is played by limestone, which is formed by the interaction of carbon dioxide and calcium oxide.

In a furnace at the plant, limestone is heated to high temperatures, which releases carbon dioxide, which is pumped into a storage tank. The calcium oxide that remains afterwards is filled with water and placed in racks in the open air.

Within three days, the calcium oxide absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, resulting in the formation of limestone again. After that, it is returned to the kiln, and the cycle repeats. In the natural environment, this process takes years, but at the plant it is simply accelerated.