Climeworks Opens Carbon Capture Plant in Iceland

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Climeworks Opens Carbon Capture Plant in Iceland

Posted by: Baris Karapinar
Category: ESG News

Swiss company Climeworks has launched the world’s largest carbon capture facility in Iceland, called Mammoth, capable of removing 36,000 tons of CO2 from the air annually. This new plant is almost ten times larger than their previous facility, Orca, which could capture about 4,000 tons of CO2 each year. Mammoth uses 72 industrial fans to draw CO2 from the atmosphere. Unlike Orca, the captured CO2 is not recycled but is stored underground in basalt formations beneath an extinct volcano.

The facility’s location near the Hellisheidi geothermal plant is strategic. It uses the plant’s energy to heat chemical filters that extract CO2 from steam. After extraction, the CO2 is separated from the steam, compressed, dissolved in water, and then pumped into volcanic basalt deep underground. This process results in the formation of solid CO2 reservoirs through reactions with magnesium, calcium, and iron in the rock.

Jan Wurzbacher, co-founder of Climeworks, states that to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2050, 6 to 16 billion tons of CO2 need to be removed from the atmosphere annually. Given that Mammoth captures only 0.0006% of the lower end of this target, substantially more and larger facilities are necessary to meet these goals.

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