In order to stop climate change, we need to strongly reduce our emissions of CO2 and other particles. This is still the most important component to stopping climate change, but it will no longer be enough by itself. We also need to find ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Curbing deforestation, both through protection and replanting, is a simple and cost-effective way to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. However, these activities are mainly taking place in parts of the world where it is very hard to control, and despite best efforts, more forest is still being cut down than replanted.
The only remaining option is carbon capture.
Meeting international climate goals, including net-zero emissions, will almost certainly require some form of carbon removal.
What is Carbon Capture?
Carbon Capture is the process of capturing CO2 from the air, and either putting it to use or putting it back in the ground.
CO2 and other Greenhouse Gases are captured naturally by forests and oceans, but carbon capture refers to the human interventions leading to increased removal of carbon from atmospheric air. This can be done either directly from the air or captured in farmlands, forests and oceans.
You can read more about the methods, use, our approach, and suppliers below.
Why do we need to capture carbon?
The Carbon Capture Ecosystem
The Carbon Capture and Storage ecosystem is fairly complex, and consists of multiple ways to capture carbon. Either at source, or directly from the air.
Once captured, the CO2 needs to be transported from source to where it will be either used or stored.
At Klimate, we have decided to focus on only some of these areas:
- Capturing from the atmospheric air, not source points
- Permanent storage, not utilisation.
You can read more below on why we are focusing on these areas, and how we do it.
Storage or utilisation?
Carbon Capture is also generally split up in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)
CCU has the advantage that you can make—and sell—products from the CO2 that has been captured. This can be anything from adding bubbles to soda to making jet fuel. By selling products, you can lower the price of the Carbon Capture. However, the carbon is still released back into the atmosphere.
CCU is better than extracting new CO2, but it still has a risk of “double counting”. Ie, if we sold Carbon Capture to neutralise your company, you would count yourself neutral. If we then made jet fuel and sold it to an airline, they would also count themselves as neutral.
To avoid this, we are opting for storage, putting the carbon permanently back in the ground where it came from.
We use a combination of two types of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in order to maximise our impact while being able to offer attractive pricing.
Direct Air Capture
Direct air capture (DAC) is a process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the air (as opposed to capturing from point sources, such as a cement factory or power plant) and generating a concentrated stream of CO2 for storage or utilization.
DAC is very promising but also young technology. The cost of capturing a ton of Carbon is relatively high.
If you want to learn about DAC, The IEA has a great resource on the topic.
Our first partner for DAC is the Swiss company Climeworks, read more below.
Carbon sequestration is the long-term removal, capture or sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow or reverse atmospheric CO2 pollution and to mitigate or reverse global warming.
At Klimate, we are partnering with multiple suppliers for sequestration through Soil Carbon Storage. This refers to techniques that can increase the amount of carbon stored in soils on agricultural and managed lands.
This progress is less cost-intensive than DAC, but more direct than working with ie. deforestation or reforestation.
Suppliers of carbon capture are technology-focused. Even within specific types, each company has a their specific approach which they are championing.
At Klimate, we believe that we need to help drive all the technologies forward. At the same time, our thesis is that if we can combine the methods based on cost, we will be able to offer a price-point that can compete with Quotas and off-sets, while truly removing carbon from the atmosphere while driving the technology forward.
We have partnered up with Climeworks, a leading expert on direct air capture.
Climeworks’ direct air capture machines consist of modular CO₂ collectors, which selectively capture carbon dioxide in a two-step process. First, air is drawn into the collector with a fan. Carbon dioxide is captured on the surface of a highly selective filter material that sits inside the collectors (“adsorption”). Second, after the filter material is full of carbon dioxide, the collector is closed. The temperature is increased to between 80 and 100 °C, which releases the carbon dioxide at a purity of over 99% (“desorption”). The gas is then cooled to 45 °C and collected. Each CO₂ collector can capture approx. 50 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Learn more at Climeworks.com.
The Nori platform works with agricultural projects that can store carbon dioxide in soils. Through more regenerative farming practices there is a theoretical capacity to store ten billion tonnes of CO2 per year. Nori is advancing a number of great co-benefits like drought resistance, reduced runoff pollution, and an overall improvement of soil health.
Learn more at Nori.com.
Carbfix turns CO2 into stone underground in less than two years through proprietary technology that imitates and accelerates natural processes.
Water with dissolved CO2 – a soda-water of sorts – is injected into subsurface favourable rock formations where natural processes transform the CO2 solid carbonate minerals.
Learn more at Carbfix.com.