Artistic rendering of what a future industrialized scale Carbon Engineering plant could look like. He expects that Carbon Engineering will face higher costs and challenges than it anticipates as the company moves to build larger plants.
Technological "fixes" to the carbon emissions driving climate change have always been regarded with some suspicion by scientists. The APS had costs of 780 $/t-CO2-avoided and 550 $/t- CO2-captured, where the emission from electricity supply outside the plant boundary.
Keith is founder of British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering, a firm that has received critical start-up funding from Bill Gates.
Commercialisation of such plants would allow direct air capture to affect transportation emissions by connecting low-cost renewable energy to low-carbon transportation fuels.
Carbon Engineering have been running a pilot plant since 2015, and now harvest about a ton of carbon a day.
Carbon Engineering's blows air through towers that have a solution of potassium hydroxide, which reacts with CO2 to make potassium carbonate.
After several processing steps, a purer stream of Carbon dioxide is extracted and the capturing liquid is returned to the air contactor. That's also what scientists with the American Physical Society estimated it would cost when they conducted a similar study in 2011. It started converting carbon dioxide into fuels a year ago.
These processes are not really new in industry, and thus have a good chance of being scaled up, says David Keith, a professor of applied physics at Harvard who founded Carbon Engineering to commercialize his technology.
The pilot plant handles just 1 metric ton of CO2 a day- to make 2 bbls of fuel- but could be scaled
'I hope to show that this as a viable energy industrial technology, not something that is a magic bullet. but something that is completely doable, ' he told Reuters of the peer-reviewed study published in the journal Joule.
Because the plant now uses some natural gas, by the time the fuel it produces has been burned it has released a half-tonne of carbon dioxide for every tonne removed from the air.
Carbon Engineering, which has about 40 employees and produces about a tonne of carbon dioxide a day from an experimental plant. The company claims that its fuel has a major advantage over traditional sources of biofuel due to its far less intensive water and land production requirements.
Prof Keith said that if their fuel gets the same subsidies as other carbon neutral approaches then they will be able to raise funds and build plants very quickly. When configured for this objective, the company was able to bring down the costs of pulling carbon from the air.
By useful way, Prof David Keith implies the utilization of the extracted Carbon dioxide by turning it into a synthetic liquid fuel when combined with green energy.
So, let's just say it: we are not on track to meet the ambitious goals of the Paris Accord, the ambitious worldwide agreement meant to limit global warming. With the exception of the USA, which pulled out of the Paris Accord on climate change, most nations plan hefty spending of their own to reduce the production of Carbon dioxide and other global warming gasses.
However he believes the question of decarbonising aviation and heavy transportation can not be met by electric vehicles alone.
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