Climeworks has developed a way to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air. The concentrated gas is then either sold for commercial products such as carbonated beverages, or safely buried to directly reduce atmospheric concentrations. 

Climeworks’ direct air capture technology captures CO2 from ambient air with a patented filter, in a device called the ‘CO2 Collector’. Air is drawn into the Collector, and the CO2 within the air is chemically bound to the filter. Once the filter is saturated with CO2 it is heated to around 100°C, which causes the CO2 to be released from the filter so it can be collected as highly concentrated CO2 gas.

The remaining CO2-free air is released back into the atmosphere. The concentrated CO2 gas is either sold for commercial applications such as carbonated drinks, agriculture and alternative fuels, or it is safely sequestered in Icelandic rock formations, contributing to the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

Climeworks plants are modular, scalable and can be mass-produced, enabling deployment on a large scale. Because the plants capture CO2 from air, they can be built anywhere, independently of any existing infrastructure.

Why you should care

The Paris Agreement signed by 196 nations in 2015 agreed to keep the global average increase in temperatures to ‘well below two degrees celsius’, but the UN Environment’s ‘Gap Report’ suggests that even with the pledges to cut emissions that have been made so far, we are unlikely to meet the target. This suggests there could be an even more significant role for carbon capture technologies going forward.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Affordable and clean energy
Concentrated CO2 gas can be converted into alternative fuel sources, helping to reduce demand for conventional fossil fuels.

Responsible production and consumption
Climeworks is demonstrating that CO2 can be harnessed as a sustainable resource in responsible production processes.

Climate action
Climeworks is one of the first companies to directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a commercially competitive price.