World's largest carbon
capture plant will soon operate in Iceland
Climeworks, a company that owns 14 direct
air capture facilities across the globe, is set to launch its largest
plant to date on September 8th.
The plant, named Orca, is being built in
Hellisheidi, Iceland and the company says that it will be the largest
direct air capture and storage plant in existence.
Orca is estimated to capture 4,000 tons of
carbon dioxide each year and the company says it will be the world’s
biggest climate-positive facility. Carbfix, an Icelandic company that
converts carbon dioxide into stone underground, will permanently store
the captured carbon in the ground.
Climeworks says that Orca will become
the world's biggest climate-positive facility to date. (Climeworks)
Carbon dioxide is turned into stone
that will be stored permanently underground. (Carbfix)
“Orca demonstrates that Climeworks is
able to scale carbon dioxide removal capacity by a factor of around 80
in 3–4 years. These developments will lead to several million tons of
direct air capture and storage capacity by the end of this decade,”
the company states on their
report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
says that carbon capture technology will be needed to mitigate severe
impacts from climate change. The IPCC says removing carbon from the
atmosphere through technology can reduce global warming, reverse
surface-level ocean acidification, and influence water availability
and quantity, food production, and biodiversity levels.
The geothermal Hellisheidi Power
Station in Iceland. (ON Power)
Even if all greenhouse gas emissions
ceased today, atmospheric temperatures will still continue to rise
because the emissions that have already been released will linger for
hundreds of years. This is why experts say that carbon capture
technology will be essential for removing historic emissions.
While the world waits in anticipation for
further development and deployment of carbon capture technology,
scientists say that expanding natural carbon sinks, such as forests,
are essential for protecting the environment and the planet’s ability
to manage greenhouse gases.