Orca, the first of it's kind carbon capture plant

Eco Watch

Oct 27, 2021

"We are proud, excited, and beyond delighted to have arrived at this stage in our journey to reverse climate change," Climeworks co-CEO and co-founder

Iceland has built the world's largest carbon capturing plant, Orca,that is designed to suck Carbon Dioxide from the air and permanently remove it. The plant works by using industrial vacuum that absorbs climate warming gases out of the air.


The isolated carbon is then mixed with water and pumped deep underground, where it slowly turns into rock. Both technologies are powered by renewable energy sourced from a nearby geothermal power plant. The Orca plant has the capacity of capturing 4,000 tons of CO2 per year. Climate goals will not be met without large-scale removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.This first-of-a-kind system marks an important milestone in the fight against the climate crisis.


Climeworks, the Swiss company responsible for this project has been able to intensify the process leading to increased CO₂ capture capacity per module. The best part is that we have a chance at taking back what we have released into the air.


However, we need to actively compensate for the economic sectors — air travel, for instance, or steel production — that are a challenge to rapidly decarbonize. This would mean we should participate in reducing carbon footprints at the same time. "The most important thing to know about carbon removal, in general, is that it's not a replacement for cutting emissions," David Morrow, the director of research at the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University, told Gizmodo in an email. "It is an important supplement to cutting emissions, but not a replacement."


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