18.10.2021

# Media

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Mother Jones: Is Sucking Carbon Out of the Air the Solution to Our Climate Crisis?

"In British Columbia, there’s a little valley where the Squamish River snakes down past the cliffs of the Malamute, a popular hiking spot. The hills in all directions are, like much of BC, thickly forested with firs. And nestled in that valley is a newfangled industrial plant that aims to replicate what those millions of trees do: suck carbon dioxide out of the air. The plant was built by Carbon Engineering, a pioneer in the technology known as direct air capture (DAC). In a long, squat building, a huge ceiling fan draws air inside, where it reacts with a liquid chemical that grabs hold of CO2 molecules.This “sorbent” flows into a nearby machine that transforms the gas, which is then stored in pressurized tanks. The goal is to help rid the atmosphere of its most ubiquitous climate change culprit. The Squamish plant will process up to 1,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. That’s a minuscule drop in the bucket of the planet’s annual emissions, an estimated 33 billion metric tons last year, but this plant is only a pilot facility."

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18.10.2021

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Blog: Why Orca matters: long-term climate policy and Climeworks’ new direct air capture facility in Iceland (Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy)

"Orca is a baby step toward a larger carbon removal industry that could one day clean up emissions from the hardest-to-abate sectors or, even better, start cleaning up “legacy carbon” that remains in the atmosphere from our past emissions. Without baby steps like Orca, though, we would never get there. In that respect, Orca is a bit like the tiny, 3.5 kilowatt solar power station that NASA’s Lewis Research Center installed on the Papago Indian Reservation in 1978; it’s only the beginning. Global solar power capacity now stands at more than 200 million times the capacity of that little installation. While direct air capture isn’t likely to grow at such a pace, the point is that we shouldn’t judge the potential of an industry by its output in its earliest days."

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18.10.2021

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Chemical Engineering: Integration of CO2 Direct Air Caputre and Alcohol-to-Jet Fuels Manufacturing

"A feasibility study is underway for the world’s first commercial facility that integrates direct air capture (DAC) of atmospheric carbon dioxide with gas fermentation of CO2 and production of aviation fuels. LanzaTech (Chicago, Ill.; www.lanzatech.com) and Carbon Engineering (Squamish, B.C.; www.carbonengineering.com) have partnered on this first-of-its-kind facility to produce sustainable aviation fuel from atmospheric CO2."

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18.10.2021

# New Publications

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Talei, Saeed; Soleimani, Zahra (2021): Comparative Analysis of Three Different Negative Emission Technologies, BECCS, Absorption and Adsorption of Atmospheric CO 2

Talei, Saeed; Soleimani, Zahra (2021): Comparative Analysis of Three Different Negative Emission Technologies, BECCS, Absorption and Adsorption of Atmospheric CO 2. In Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports 31 (3), pp. 99–117. DOI: 10.2478/ceer-2021-0036.

"Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) are generally considered as vital methods for achieving climate goals. To limit the rise in the global average temperature below 2 °C, a large number of countries that participated in the Paris agreement was virtually unanimous about the effective collaboration among members for the reduction of CO2 emissions throughout this century. NETs on the ground that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide an active option to achieve this goal. In this contribution, we compare limiting factors, cost, and capacity of three different NETs, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), absorption and adsorption. Although there are several advantages for capturing CO2, still some constraints regarding the high operational cost of NETs and industrial condition of these technologies as a method of climate change mitigation is not clear. Thereby no single process can be considered as a comprehensive solution. Indeed, any developed technologies, in turn, have a contribution to the reduction of CO2 concentration. Extensive research needs to be done to assess and decrease NETs costs and limitations."

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18.10.2021

# New Publications

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Fuhrman, Jay; et al. (2021): The role of direct air capture and negative emissions technologies in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways towards +1.5˚C and +2˚C future

Fuhrman, Jay; Clarens, Andres; Calvin, Katherine V.; Doney, Scott C.; Edmonds, James A.; O'Rourke, Patrick et al. (2021): The role of direct air capture and negative emissions technologies in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways towards +1.5˚C and +2˚C futures. In Environ. Res. Lett. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac2db0.

"The development of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and associated integrated assessment modeling (IAM) exercises did not include direct air capture with carbon storage (DACCS) in their scenarios. Recent progress in DACCS commercialization suggests it could be a viable means of removing CO2 from the atmosphere with far lower land intensity than bioenergy with carbon capture or afforestation but with a higher energy demands. In addition, several forms of DACCS are in development, with different costs and energy demands, as well as potential for future efficiency improvements. Here, we use the Global Change Analysis Model (GCAM) to understand the role of DACCS across all 5 SSPs for the below 2˚C and below 1.5˚C end-of-century warming goals. We assess DACCS deployment relative to other carbon capture methods, and its side effects for global energy, water, land systems. We find that DACCS could play a 10-40 Gt-CO2-yr-1 role in many of these scenarios, particularly those with delayed climate policy and or higher challenges to emissions mitigation. Our "sustainable development" scenarios, consistent with SSP1, have far smaller deployments of DACCS and other negative emissions owing to immediate climate policy onset, greater ease of "conventional mitigation" and tighter constraints on future negative emissions."

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10.10.2021

# New Publications

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van Schagen, T. N.; et al. (2021): Development of a novel, through-flow microwave-based regenerator for sorbent-based direct air capture

van Schagen, T. N.; van der Wal, P. J.; Brilman, D.W.F. (2021): Development of a novel, through-flow microwave-based regenerator for sorbent-based direct air capture. In Chemical Engineering Journal Advances 42 (8), p. 100187. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceja.2021.100187.

"In this work an all-electric regenerator is developed for the desorption of CO2 from air-capture sorbents using microwaves. An electromagnetic model was made for a continuous flow radial desorber and its dimensions were optimised for maximal microwave utilisation. Based on the optimal dimensions an actual prototype, capable of desorbing CO2 from a commercial supported amine sorbent in fixed- or moving-bed configuration was built to demonstrate the concept and to study performance characteristics. TSA experiments using nitrogen as purge gas to produce enriched air (1 to 2 vol. % CO2) were done. Productivities of up to 1.5 kg CO2/kgsorb./d were demonstrated, with a total energy duty of 25 MJ/kgCO2. Compared to traditional TVSA desorption, the energy duty is similar while the productivity is significantly higher. The process can be further improved by creating an even more homogeneous electric field (preventing hot spots in the regenerator) and by enabling desorption under vacuum conditions to produce pure CO2. Overall, microwave desorption is demonstrated as an effective way to circumvent heat transfer limitations present during more traditional thermal desorption processes using polymeric sorbents."

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08.10.2021

# New Publications

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Joppa, Lucas; et al. (2021): Microsoft's million-tonne CO2-removal purchase - lessons for net zero

Joppa, Lucas; Luers, Amy; Willmott, Elizabeth; Friedmann, S. Julio; Hamburg, Steven P.; Broze, Rafael (2021): Microsoft's million-tonne CO2-removal purchase - lessons for net zero. In Nature 597 (7878), pp. 629–632. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-02606-3.

"Strengthen markets, measures and definitions for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to fight climate change. In January this year, Microsoft made a major announcement: it had paid for the removal of 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Among its purchases were projects to expand forests in Peru, Nicaragua and the United States, as well as initiatives to regenerate soil across US farms. [...] Here we summarize the lessons learnt from Microsoft’s carbon-removal efforts, along with those from another early corporate procurement — the $9-million purchases of carbon removal in 2020 and 2021 by the US–Irish financial-infrastructure company Stripe. Although these are just two companies’ efforts, they are the first significant open solicitations focused exclusively on carbon removal. We write as a team composed of Microsoft staff working on the company’s carbon-negative programme and research scientists who analyse carbon reduction and removal strategies."

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07.10.2021

# Media

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Video: This Is CDR Ep09: Climeworks Update - 2021 and Beyond with Christoph Beuttler (Open Air)

"In this session of This Is CDR we welcome Christoph Beuttler, Head of Climate Policy for Climeworks. Christoph provides an overview of the company’s industry-leading modular DAC solution, and shares perspective on the current state and future of the market for DAC and CDR."

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07.10.2021

# New Publications

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Grossmann, Quirin; et al. (2021): Molecular to Process Scale: A Review of Holistic Direct Air Capture Contactor Design

Grossmann, Quirin; Stampi-Bombelli, Valentina; Mazzotti, Marco (2021): Molecular to Process Scale: A Review of Holistic Direct Air Capture Contactor Design. In SINTEF Proceedings (7). Available online at https://sintef.brage.unit.no/sintef-xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/2786929/Molecular%20to%20Process%20Scale%20A%20Review%20of%20Holistic%20Direct%20Air%20Capture%20Contactor%20Design.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.

"Air-sorbent contactors are an essential part of direct air capture processes. Their design can have a great influence on the process energy demand and efficiency. Three aspects of this design have been identified and differentiated by length scale. On a molecular scale, the adsorption sites are defined by the chemisorbent-containing molecules, generally amines. The support of these amines defines the second length scale and plays an important role in mass and heat transfer. These two length scales have been studied in detail in academic literature and a short overview is given. The third length scale is the process scale, or contactor module scale. Together with the first two length scales, it is necessary to characterize the third to perform adequate process optimization. Research on this third length scale is scarce in academic literature, though it has been researched in industry. The direction of research tends towards structured sorbents due to their ability to process large volumes of air and academic research in this area should be expanded."

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04.10.2021

# Media

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News 21 channel: OSU to lead Dept. of Energy project to capture carbon dioxide from the air

"CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University chemistry professor May Nyman has been selected as one of the leaders of a $24 million federal effort to develop technologies for combating climate change by extracting carbon from the air."

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