World’s largest carbon removal facility could suck up 5 million metric tonnes of CO2 yearly

The U.S.-based facility hopes to capture CO2, roughly the equivalent of 5 million return flights between London and New York annually.
Baba Tamim
Bison Project's carbon removal project
Bison Project's carbon removal project

BusinessWire  

A U.S. climate tech company has developed a project that could remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.

CarbonCapture Inc. has revealed plans for the largest carbon capture facility in the world in Wyoming, in an exclusive partnership with premier carbon storage company Frontier Carbon Solutions, according to a press release published by Business Wire last week.

"With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the proliferation of companies seeking high-quality carbon removal credits, and a disruptive low-cost technology, we now have the ingredients needed to scale DAC to megaton levels by the end of this decade," said Adrian Corless, CEO, and CTO, CarbonCapture Inc.

"We plan to have our first DAC modules fielded by the end of next year and to continue installing capacity as quickly as modules come off our production line. Our goal is to leverage economies of scale to offer the lowest priced DAC-based carbon removal credits in the market."

World’s largest carbon removal facility could suck up 5 million metric tonnes of CO2 yearly
Artist’s rendering of Project Bison, a 5-megaton carbon removal project in Wyoming.

Massive amounts of CO2 can be removed from the environment by connecting direct air capture (DAC) devices that CarbonCapture has developed and deployed in enormous arrays, as per the company description.

The companies chose Wyoming due to the state's extensive supply of renewable and carbon-free energy sources, as well as its advantageous operating and regulatory conditions for carbon storage.

World’s largest carbon removal facility could suck up 5 million metric tonnes of CO2 yearly
Project Bison generates carbon removal credits by filtering CO2 out of the atmosphere and permanently storing it underground via Class VI injection wells.

When will the project start?

The project will be the first atmospheric carbon removal facility in the United States to use Class VI wells for long-term storage. It is anticipated to be operational by late 2023.

The goal of this collaboration project, called "Project Bison," is to absorb five million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030, which is roughly the same number of roundtrip flights between London and New York.

"Safe, permanent carbon storage and direct air capture are foundational to a low-carbon economy," said Robby Rockey, President, and COO of Frontier Carbon Solutions, a portfolio company of Tailwater Capital.

"With CarbonCapture's DAC technology and Frontier's storage assets, this partnership will scale these critical industries in Wyoming, ultimately bringing more investment capital and jobs to the state."

Frontier Carbon Solutions, situated in Dallas, was established in April 2021 to offer industrial emitters services for carbon collection, transportation, and sequestration through the purchase, construction, and management of commercial CCUS infrastructure.

World’s largest carbon removal facility could suck up 5 million metric tonnes of CO2 yearly
Installation of a container-sized DAC module from CarbonCapture.

Is carbon capture and storage (CCS) effective?

The majority of carbon capture methods aim to keep the atmosphere from being exposed to at least 90 percent of the CO2 in smokestacks. However, as the technology gets closer to being 100 percent efficient, it becomes more expensive and requires more energy to capture more CO2.

Carbon dioxide can be captured in a variety of ways from fossil fuel-burning facilities like cement manufacturers and coal power stations.

The most typical method involves cooling the exhaust gas and pumping it into a chamber filled with chemical "scrubbers" that bond to CO2 molecules.

The captured carbon is then concentrated and stored while the carbon-free exhaust is discharged into the atmosphere. Two coal power stations (albeit one will be shut down in 2020) and roughly two dozen other places have already adopted CCS.

According to Howard Herzog, a Senior Research Engineer in the MIT Energy Initiative, CCS programs have utilized a baseline efficiency target of 90 percent for years because 90 percent is a realistic goal, and 90 percent CO2 removal is required for a system to be financially viable to build and deploy.

However, in order to achieve that aim, power plants will have to pay significantly more for each additional molecule of CO2 that they absorb. As a result, they require stronger financial incentives to reduce their carbon emissions. By taxing plants on any CO2 that is released into the environment, a carbon price would be one method to provide those incentives.

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