This Carbon Capturing Plant Is 1000x More Effective Than Photosynthesis

This Carbon Capturing Plant Is 1000x More Effective Than Photosynthesis

Located at a waste incineration facility in Zurich, Switzerland, the first commercial carbon-capturing plant is now operational. The plant is able to capture carbon and turn it into something that can be used or simply buried.

Inside of the Climeworks plant, three shipping containers hold six carbon collectors. Inside these collectors, spongy filters are in place to absorb carbon pulled in by fans. Each sponge is fully saturated within a few hours.

Once the container is full, it’s closed and heated to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases carbon in a usable form. This carbon can be turned into products, buried, or sold to interested commercial buyers.

But don’t get too excited about this plant, it’s a drop in an ocean. Climeworks believes that hundreds of thousands more will be needed by 2050 if we’re to put a dent in the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere and keep runaway climate change from happening.

Carbon that has been captured in facilities like this has numerous uses. Researchers at UCLA recently found a way to turn it into concrete for building.

“You can do this over and over again,” Jan Wurzbacher, director of Climeworks, told Fast Company. “It’s a cyclic process. You saturate with CO2, then you regenerate, saturate, regenerate. You have multiple of these units, and not all of them go in parallel. Some are taking in CO2, some are releasing CO2.”


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