The COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech marks the very first “large-scale technical-solutions conference” for senior delegates by UNFCCC and experts of technology of the 196 states.
Focus during the three-days “Low-Emissions Solution Conference” is a presentation by 20 chosen cleantech start-ups that introduce their scalable technologies. Climeworks will show its efficient solution to filter CO2 from ambient air and share the potential for climate protection.
The Climeworks CO2 Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology is based on a cyclic capture-regeneration process and a novel filter. During the capture process, atmospheric CO2 is chemically bound to the surface of the filter. Once the filter is saturated, the CO2 is released by heating it to a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius, thereby delivering high-purity gaseous CO2. The CO2-free filter can be re-used for thousands of capture-regeneration cycles. DAC allows a significant emissions reduction through the production of low-carbon fuels and eventually enabling negative emissions when combined with a permanent carbon storage solution.
The Climeworks founders have set themselves an ambitious goal: capturing one percent of global CO2 emissions by 2025. Simply by changing the number of modules, Climeworks’ DAC technology can be freely scaled to meet the demands of any application and has a carbon removal potential that is relevant for achieving climate targets agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.
Climeworks’ products have several commercial applications: In the short-term the company targets large merchant markets by selling air-captured CO2 to customers like greenhouse operators or the beverage industry, which currently receive their CO2 primarily as an industrial waste product and often from the combustion of fossil fuels.
In the mid-term, Climeworks seeks to close the carbon cycle by providing atmospheric CO2 for the production of low-carbon fuels, which allows large-scale storage of renewable energies and which further allows to address CO2 sources which are otherwise hard to capture, e.g. emissions from the past or mobile sources. By that reason, the company is in a close partnership with carmaker Audi.
In the long-term and in combination with storage technology, DAC is one of only few technologies with the potential to capture and permanently remove several gigatons of atmospheric CO2 per year. The usage of so-called Negative Emission Technologies (NET) is considered necessary in more than 85% of IPCC climate scenarios consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.