Canadian firm Carbon Engineering has cut its costs of carbon capture to less than $100 per tonne, down from the previous cost estimate of $600 per tonne.
The firm has run a direct air capture (DAC) pilot in Squamish, British Columbia, since 2015 and has captures 1 tonnes per day of CO2 from air blown through towers containing a solution of potassium hydroxide, reacting with the CO2 to form potassium carbonate that can be processed into calcium carbonate pellets.
These pellets can release CO2 when heated and pressurised and then either stored or used as fuel.
The pilot scheme has estimated that by adapting existing technology it has been able to reduce costs of carbon capture technologies to $100 per tonne as opposed to $600 per tonne, as calculated in 2011 by the American Physical Society.
Carbon Engineering’s technology is scalable and is being expanded into a larger plant that will be operational in 2021 with the potential to increase this further to capture 1 million tonnes per year.