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- First commercial carbon capture facility opens in the U.S.
- Heirloom Carbon Technologies aims to scale up rapidly.
- Facility to convert absorbed CO2 into concrete, aiding climate efforts.
The plant, although modest in size with a capacity to absorb 1,000 tons of CO2 annually, symbolizes a start.
The technology used by Heirloom is based on a simple chemical principle. By speeding up the natural process where calcium oxide combines with CO2 to form limestone, the plant effectively removes carbon from the atmosphere.
This captured CO2 is then sealed in concrete, preventing it from contributing to global warming, writes the New York Times.
Scaling up and cost reduction
Despite the high current cost of direct air capture, estimated at $600 to $1,000 per ton of CO2, Heirloom aspires to reduce this to around $100 per ton. The plan includes replicating the plant’s design and utilizing mass-produced components, following a trajectory similar to that of solar panels and gas turbines where increased deployment led to lower costs.
The project’s success could pave the way for more widespread adoption of carbon capture technology. This would be instrumental in achieving the dual goals of sharply reducing emissions and removing existing CO2 from the atmosphere, both vital for controlling global warming.
Read more about avoiding cost overruns in large projects:
And how to enter a negative cost curve: