Header AD

Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought

Carbon dioxide siphoning from the atmosphere could prove to be more expensive than the last Dutch strategy for climate catastrophe aversion. ( You can think we are joking, but LOL, Nope ! We are not. )

On June 7th, a detailed economic analysis suggested that technology about geoengineering is inching closer to commercial viability.

Researchers at the Carbon engineering in Calgary, Canada wrote in a study of Joule, which has been in action since 2015 in British Columbia. The plant is based on a concept known as direct air capture which provided the base for economic analysis, which comprises of all the cost estimates from the commercial vendors of each and every major components. 

On the basis of the variety of economic assumptions and design options, the cost of sucking a tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere varies between 94 to 232 US dollars. The American Physical Society conducted an analysis in 2011, which estimated it would cost 600 US dollars per tonne.

Carbon Engineering claims that they published a paper to enhance the topics about the potential and cost of the technology. They claimed that they are trying to commercialize the direct capture of carbon dioxide in a serious way and in order to achieve this, they need everybody in the supply chain on board.

Carbon Engineering is one of the very few companies to pursue direct air capture technology. Climeworks, a company based in Zurich, Switzerland, their contemporary, opened a commercial facility last year that can capture almost 900 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year for utilization in greenhouses. The company has also launched another facility in Iceland which helps to capture 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and bury it underground for basalt formation.

Climeworks said that capturing a tonne of carbon dioxide at their Swiss plant costs around 66 US dollars. The company, however, expects the rate to go below 100 US dollars per tonne in the coming 5 to 10 years. The paper by carbon engineering shows the most detailed study regarding the cost of such technology.

The design provided by carbon engineering passes air along with towers which contain a solution of potassium hydroxide, which reacts with carbon dioxide and hence forms potassium carbonate. The solution is further processed which results in calcium carbonate pellet which can be heated to release carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide can then be pressurized and put in a pipeline, which later could be buried underground. 

The company is also planning to utilize gas to produce low carbon, synthetic fuels. The head of the company assures that they can produce these at about 1 US dollar per liter. When Carbon engineering tried to capture air for this process, they were able to cut the costs down to 94 US dollars per tonne of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Engineering hopes to build small facilities that can produce up to 200 barrels of low carbon fuels per day by the year 2021. They also plan to set up a commercial plant which will help produce 2000 barrels per day. They claim that they just need to begin the process and see how all the other things follow.

Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought Reviewed by Joe on May 27, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments