Switzerland-based Climeworks is now allowing anyone in the world the opportunity to turn their travel emissions into stone.
I know that some of my colleagues here at CleanTechnica aren’t huge fans of carbon capture technology*, but I personally am a fan of any technology that allows us to capture and sequester or reuse carbon that is currently in development, and I have been following Climeworks for the past few years and am excited about this new development. *As an editor’s note, also see this:
Based on data, Direct Air Capture results in 68-73% of the captured CO2 re-released due to energy needed to run equipment. Energy cost 2.9-17x wind cost to avoid same CO2. Health plus energy cost of DAC 4.3-19.3 times that of wind.https://t.co/B7WkArVi3r @mbarnardca @dicapriofdn
— Mark Z. Jacobson (@mzjacobson) June 15, 2019
The solution that Climeworks has created works to address the three issues with carbon capture and sequestration all at the same time — by building smaller capture plants in locations that have both a power source and either a use for the carbon or the ability to immediately sequester it, Climeworks has created what they believe is a super climate-efficient process that captures more than 90% of the CO2 from air and permanently sequesters it underground … even including the footprint for the manufacture of the material to make their scrubbers.
Climeworks believes that they can do this at a large scale at a competitive cost — currently, their cost is about $600 per ton, but they expect that to drop to $200 in the next three or four years, and hit a long term goal of less than $100 per ton in the next decade. Their goal is to capture 1% of the world’s emissions by 2025, an extremely ambitious timeline.
To do that, they need markets for their product. To that point, Climeworks announced a partnership with Coca-Cola HBC to use Climeworks-captured carbon in Coke’s carbonated drinks, starting with Valser sparking water. While Coca Cola uses a small amount of CO2 every year — an estimate by Dr. Roy Spencer for this article from CNSNews in 2008 placed it at 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide a day worldwide — last summer Coke experienced a shortage of CO2 in Europe.
Turns out the food and beverage industry really relies on CO2, with over 10 million tons being used in the industry worldwide. With Climeworks, companies could have their own, potentially in-house carbon production plants, eliminating future CO2 shortage concerns.
Additionally, Climeworks has projects in the works to use their captured CO2 in greenhouses and in renewable methane, pushing efforts to use (or perhaps we should say, re-use) captured CO2 for industrial uses.
Which brings us to today — Climeworks now offers the opportunity to sequester part or all of your emissions! They have three options, 85kg per year for $96, 255kg per year for $288, or 600kg per year at $660.The carbon capture plants are running at a geothermal power plant in Iceland and sequestering the carbon underground into basaltic rock, turning it into stone within a few years.
While this is expensive — the math works out to $1,100 per metric ton of carbon removed — I signed up for the 85kg rate.
There are cheaper methods out there, (CoolEffect is one I’d suggest checking out), but I’m hoping that with some more support, Climeworks and direct air carbon capture can help.