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Comment Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Commercial debut for a process that captures CO2 directly from air

By Chemical Engineering |

On May 31, Climeworks (Hinwill/Zurich, Switzerland; www.climeworks.com) inaugurated its — and the world’s — first commercial plant that captures CO2 directly from air. The Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility, located at the waste-utilization plant of KEZO in Hinwill, Switzerland, will supply up to 900 metric ton per year (m.t./yr) of CO2 to a nearby greenhouse-cultivation company, Gebr. Meier Primanatura AG, which previously had to purchase CO2 delivered by trucks. CO2 is used in greenhouses for increasing the growth of vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. The DAC plant uses an air-filtration system that the company’s founders first began developing while engineering students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH; www.ethz.ch). The facility has 18 collectors, each equipped with a fan and a filter. The fans blow air through the filters, which are porous granulates modified with amines that absorb CO2 from air. After a few hours, the filter becomes saturated. The captured CO2 is then released by heating to 100°C using waste heat from the waste-utilization plant. The CO2 is then pipelined to the greenhouses located 400 m away. The plant will operate as a three-year demonstration project in cooperation…
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