Large-scale carbon dioxide removal will be needed to restore a healthy balance of CO2 in the atmosphere. Climeworks’ direct air capture technology offers a solution to achieve this.
Swiss company Climeworks and Omani company 44.01 join forces to unlock the potential of geological storage of air-captured CO2 in the Middle East in a first-of-its-kind test project.
The two companies will jointly test the conditions in Oman and explore the potential to combine direct air capture with mineralization in peridotite in the region.
To keep global warming to safe levels, science agrees that is not enough to only reduce emissions – we have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere that has already been emitted. Climeworks’ direct air capture technology can capture unavoidable as well as historic CO₂ emissions directly from the air. Combined with a safe and permanent storage solution, the CO2 is removed from the air for good. The modular technology can be stacked to build machines of any size and is solely powered by renewable energy. After building and operating several plants all over Europe, Climeworks’ technology will now be tested under the climatic and geological conditions in the Middle East. This is an important step to unlock the global potential for direct air capture and storage solutions urgently needed to fight climate change.
Geological storage of CO2 in peridotite
Oman has the perfect conditions to store CO2 through the natural process of mineralization in peridotite. Carbon mineralization occurs naturally in alkaline environments: atmospheric CO2 reacts with peridotite rocks which are rich in magnesium and calcium, to precipitate carbonates. Oman bears the potential to store trillions of tons of CO2 permanently and safely in peridotite formations. Thereby, the CO2 is permanently removed in natural geological carbon sinks and cannot escape back into the atmosphere. Additionally, renewable energy is abundant in Oman and 44.01 powers its process with solar energy and biofuel produced by local circular economies.
“We are excited to explore the potential to store CO2 from Climeworks’ direct air capture in Oman together with 44.01. The geological conditions as well as the high availability of renewable energy make this a perfect location for testing prior to expanding our technology portfolio.”
Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Climeworks on such an important project. Climeworks is a pioneer in the field of direct air capture and brings in a lot of expertise. The launch of this direct air capture plant is a major step forward for the region which has some of the highest CO2 emissions per capita in the world.”
Talal Hasan, Founder and CEO of 44.01
More about geological storage of CO2
To enable direct air capture and storage technologies to fulfill their foreseen role in climate change mitigation, storage solutions have to be scalable to billions of tons of CO₂ per year. Geological storage of CO₂ combines the scalability and technical maturity on the one hand with safety and permanence on the other. Scientific estimates show that the global potential for geological storage of CO₂ outweighs all greenhouse gases ever emitted since the Industrial Revolution. Geological mineralization in suitable rock formations is seen as the safest, most scalable and permanent approach of CO₂ storage as it is a natural process that is able to store CO₂. One location in which these suitable rock formations occur is Oman. This is why Climeworks and 44.01 are jointly testing the combination of Climeworks’ direct air capture technology with geological storage of CO2 in Oman.
Climeworks empowers people to reverse climate change by permanently removing carbon dioxide from the air.
One of two things happens to the Climeworks air-captured carbon dioxide: either it is returned to earth, stored safely and permanently away for millions of years, or it is upcycled into climate-friendly products such as carbon-neutral fuels and materials. The Climeworks direct air capture technology runs exclusively on clean energy, and the modular CO2 collectors can be stacked to build machines of any size.