A plant has been put into operation in Iceland that can capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is an active solution to the problem of excess carbon dioxide. The plant is called Orca and it was constructed by the Swiss company Climeworks and the Icelandic company Carbfix. The plant is powered by hydrothermal energy and can remove 4,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year.
Active removal of CO2 from the atmosphere
Orca is located about 30 kilometers southeast of the capital Reykjavik. It uses large industrial vacuum cleaners to remove carbon dioxide from the air. Carbon dioxide will be stored deep underground, where it will turn to stone after about 2 years. Active carbon capture from the atmosphere is a very expensive method, but it is actively supported by a large number of investors. If a large number of such carbon sequestration plants were to be set up around the world, it would have a very positive effect on the environment. At https://climeworks.com/subscriptions, anyone can support a project to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help save the climate.
Here you can watch the recent launch of the factory:
Does this process have a sufficient effect?
Although the removal of 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide is a light output, the same amount of carbon is produced by 800 cars every year. The entire Orca facility is scalable, expandable and planned to absorb 13,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. How much does the whole process actually cost? Capturing 1 ton of carbon dioxide is worth $ 100. If you imagine that people produced over 35 billion tons of CO2 in 2019, a huge amount of such plants would be needed.
The development of DAC (direct air capture) technologies should ensure that this technology will be gradually cheaper. There are other plants growing around the world that have the same goal. However, the largest contribution to saving the planet depends on humans reducing CO2 emissions. Orca is currently the largest active active carbon capture plant in the atmosphere, but will soon lose its lead. A plant is being set up in Scotland to remove up to a million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.