To reach net-zero emissions, we need to do more than reduce our emissions: we need to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or offset its effects.
We have previously written about emerging carbon capture technologies and their potential to help us tackle climate change. Now, we’re thrilled to share with you a real breakthrough in our efforts to cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Scotland is set to become home to the world’s largest direct carbon capture (DAC) facility, which will have the capacity to remove up to one million tons of CO2 from the air each year — the equivalent carbon absorption potential of 40 million trees over the same period of time. All the carbon that will be captured by the facility will then be deposited in storage sites under the sea.
The facility will boast large fans that pull air into a liquid-filled vat that binds the carbon monoxide, reports Interesting Engineering. Once bound, the captured carbon is refined and converted into calcium carbonate pellets. The pellets, in turn, are then broken down with heat into a CO2 stream alongside calcium oxide. This stream is then filtered of impurities, after which it is pumped into an underwater storage site.
The colossal climate change-fighting facility joins a host of other carbon capture technology innovations aimed at keeping global warming to within 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. As the Union of Concerned Scientists points out on its website, “to reach net-zero emissions, we need to do more than just reduce our emissions: we need to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or offset its effects.”
Accelerating the expansion of carbon capture facilities across the world, and putting the absorbed carbon to good use may thus prove key to reversing catastrophic climate change.