Mammoth, the largest carbon dioxide capture and storage project in Iceland, began operations this week.

More about the news:

  • The mammoth project site is only 50 kilometers from an active volcano.
  • The supposedly dangerous location was picked because it is close to the Hellisheidi geothermal energy plant, which is supposed to power the Mammoth’s fans and heat chemical filters to collect CO2 from water vapor. 

The Methodology adopted: 

  • Using the 72 industrial fans of Mammoth (Air capturing machine), the Swiss startup Climeworks aims to demonstrate the utility of their technology in the fight against global warming.
  • The technology works by sucking 36,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year and burying it underground.
  • CO2 is then separated from the steam and compressed in a hangar where huge pipes crisscross.
  • The gas is dissolved in water and pumped underground with a “sort of giant SodaStream.
  • A well, drilled under a futuristic-looking dome, injects the water 700 meters down into volcanic basalt that makes up 90 percent of Iceland’s subsoil. Here it reacts with the magnesium, calcium, and iron in the rock to form crystals — solid reservoirs of CO2.

Why carbon removal technologies are necessary:

  • According to climate experts, for the world to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2050 around 16 billion tonnes of CO2 per year should be removed.
  • There exist many solutions to remove CO2, and technical solutions like carbon capture and storage will play a significant role in tackling climate change.
  • According to the IPCC, the UN’s climate expert body, carbon removal technologies will be necessary to meet the targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement — but major reductions of emissions are the priority.
  • Although, the role of direct air capture with carbon storage (DACCS) remains minor in the various climate models due to its high price but in the near future prices are set to drop

About Climeworks company’s other projects:

  • They launched the world’s first commercial Direct air capture (DAC) plant in HInwii, Switzerland.
  • Orca, the world’s first DACCS plant was built by them in Iceland.
  • Mammoth is Climeworks’ new and largest DACCS plant and will join Orca in Iceland.
  • The company also deals in carbon credit.

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