Iceland opens biggest operational CO2 plant in the world

The plant, named Mammoth, is the second commercial facility opened by the company to aid in the reduction of fossil fuel emissions to combat the effects of climate change.

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Image Credit: Climeworks/Handout via REUTERS

Climeworks, a Swiss company with no ties to the fossil fuel industry, opened the world’s largest operational direct air capture plant to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Located in Iceland, the plant, named Mammoth, is the second commercial facility opened by the company to aid in the reduction of fossil fuel emissions to combat the effects of climate change.

Mammoth, which began construction in 2022, will be completed at the end of the year and “is about ten times bigger than its predecessor, Orca,” a press release reported.

“Starting operations of our Mammoth plant is another proof point in Climeworks’ scale-up journey to megaton capacity by 2030 and gigaton by 2050,” Jan Wurzbacher, Climeworks co-founder and co-CEO, said.

Mammoth was built in a modular design, with twelve of its total 72 collector containers currently installed onsite, a press release reported.

The Mammoth direct air capture (DAC) plant sucks the carbon from the air and stores it mostly underground as not to contribute to global warming, which is one of the major contributors to climate change, a press release reported. The plant has an annual carbon capture capacity of 36,000 metric tons.

“Mammoth has successfully started to capture its first CO₂,” Climeworks said. “Climeworks uses renewable energy to power its direct air capture process, which requires low-temperature heat like boiling water. The geothermal energy partner ON Power in Iceland provides the energy necessary for this process. Once the CO₂ is released from the filters, storage partner Carbfix transports the CO₂ underground, where it reacts with basaltic rock through a natural process, which transforms into stone, and remains permanently stored.”

Climeworks is currently developing multiple megaton hubs in the U.S., according to a press release.

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