Our direct air capture (DAC) technology is one of the key technological solutions to fight climate change. It captures CO₂ directly from the air, reducing the atmospheric concentration of CO₂ by only using renewable energy, energy-from-waste, or other waste heat as energy sources.
It's a three-step process
The latest IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) report clearly states that urgent climate action is needed to halve emissions by 2030. To do so, we must both drastically reduce emissions and remove legacy CO₂ emissions from the air. In order to permanently remove the CO₂ emissions we've captured, we combine our DAC technology with CO₂ storage and safely transport them deep underground.
Direct air capture and storage, or DAC+S, represents a permanent carbon removal solution.
Each solution, whether natural or technology-based, has its benefits. That's why it's essential that every approach works in synergy with all others if climate targets are to be achieved. Here are the benefits of direct air capture:
One of our modular CO₂ collector containers has a nominal capacity of 500 tons per year. You’d need about 20,000 trees to match this amount.
The energy usage: We're committed to driving down energy consumption as much as possible. We only use renewable energy, energy-from-waste, or other waste heat to power our plants.
The difference with offsetting: Traditional carbon offsets are typically a trade of avoided emissions through certified emission reduction projects that absorb or avoid CO₂. It can lead to reduced emissions, but not to the zero and negative emissions that we need to deliver to keep global warming under control. In contrast, our carbon dioxide removal service physically removes CO₂ emissions from the air, locking the CO₂ away by permanently storing it for thousands of years. It's therefore radically different from trading avoided emissions.
The plants' carbon footprint: We have already conducted multiple life-cycle assessments (LCA, see here) to assess the footprint of building, operating, and recycling our DAC plants. They confirm the grey emissions of a Climeworks plant are less than 10% of the captured carbon dioxide with the use of renewable electricity, our goal is to reduce them to 4%.