Climeworks, a Swiss cleantech company, has partnered with Reykjavik Energy to combine direct air capture (DAC) technology with safe and permanent geological storage for the first time ever. The result is the first negative emissions power plant in the world.
The EU-backed collaborative research project centers around one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi, Iceland. A Climeworks DAC module was installed on-site to capture CO2 from ambient air. The Climeworks technology draws in ambient air and captures the CO2 with a patented filter. Then, the filter is heated with low-grade heat from the geothermal plant to release the pure CO2.
The captured CO2 is then bound to water and sent more than 700 meters underground. Once it reaches its underground location, the CO2 reacts with the basaltic bedrock and forms solid minerals to create a permanent storage solution.
Basalt core containing carbonates. Photo: Sandra O Snaebjornsdottir.
The project will test how the highly scalable technology works with the specific weather conditions at the location in southwest Iceland.
Photo: Climeworks / Zev Starr-Tambor.