Direct Air Capture
Removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere on a large scale is necessary if the world is to meet the goals Paris climate agreement. The Carbfix mineral storage technology provides an economic and efficient way of permanently transforming previously emitted CO2 to stone underground.
Since 2017, Carbfix has been in collaboration with Climeworks, a Swiss clean-tech company, that specializes in direct air capture technology. Climeworks ran a small direct air capture (DAC) pilot plant next to the Carbfix CO2 mineral storage operations at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant as a part of the EU funded Carbfix2 project. The power plant supplied renewable energy to the DAC process, whereas Carbfix provided a permanent and safe storage solution.
Image credit: Climeworks
As Climeworks states on its webpage:
"Our CO₂ collectors selectively capture carbon dioxide in a two-step process. First, air is drawn into the collector with a fan. Carbon dioxide is captured on the surface of a highly selective filter material that sits inside the collectors. Second, after the filter material is full with carbon dioxide, the collector is closed. We increase the temperature to between 80 and 100 °C - this releases the carbon dioxide. Finally, we can collect this high-purity, high-concentration carbon dioxide."
Upscaled atmospheric CO2 removal and storage
The Arctic Fox pilot plant demonstrated the viability of combining DAC and CO2 mineral storage for lowering CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Following successful pilot operations, Climeworks and Carbfix entered in 2020 into a groundbreaking agreement for significant scale-up of atmospheric CO2 removal and storage. The plant is currently being installed in ON Power's Geothermal Park in Iceland and will start operating in 2021. The plant has the capacity of capturing 4000 tons CO2 per year, all of which will be injected by Carbfix into nearby basaltic formations and permanently turned to stone.