The $73m funding for the carbon capture technology from private investors will help the company scale up its roadmap and expand its carbon dioxide removal capacities. The company spun out of ETH Zurich in 2009 and has so far raised a total of CHF120m ($120m).
The technology selectively captures 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. Second, after the filter material is full with carbon dioxide, the collector is closed. Increasing the temperature to between 80 and 100 °C then releases the carbon dioxide for collection.
The modular CO₂ collectors that can be stacked to build machines of any size and is powered by renewable energy or energy-from-waste. Grey emissions are below 10%, which means that out of 100 tons of carbon dioxide that the machines capture from the air, at least 90 tons are permanently removed and only up to 10 tons are re-emitted. The captured carbon dioxide can be used in a number of ways, from lithium batteries to stored in rock.
The company is working with Carbfix in Iceland to store the captured CO2. The Carbfix process centres around the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant, which provides the renewable energy for the capture process. Carbfix then mixes the carbon dioxide with water and pumps it deep underground. Through natural mineralization, the carbon dioxide reacts with the basalt rock and turns into stone.
This allows it to offer subscriptions to the public to remove kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“This financing round will take Climeworks to the next level and help us make an ever-bigger contribution to reversing climate change. We aim to inspire 1 billion people to remove carbon dioxide from the air, and this investment will contribute to achieve that goal,” said Christoph Gebald, co-founder and co-CEO of Climeworks.
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