Orca, the direct air carbon capture and storage plant, has started operating in Iceland, run by Swiss company Climeworks.
The plant sucks carbon dioxide directly from the air and buries it as rocks deep underground, using technology from Climeworks’ Icelandic partner Carbfix.
Orca has the capacity to remove 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere this way each year.
The Orca plant is located in Hellisheidi, Iceland, and is entirely run on this renewable energy.
Climeworks’ plant was built in 15 months, using a modular system in the form of stackable container-sized collector units. Eight such units make up the Orca plant.
The company claims this system has a small physical footprint, cuts construction time and can be replicated anywhere in the world with sufficient renewable energy and storage conditions.
Orca is Climeworks’ second carbon capture plant
The Orca plant captures significantly greater quantities of carbon dioxide, and instead of using it converts it for storage through Carbfix’s “natural mineralization process”.
This involves mixing the carbon dioxide with water and pumping it deep underground, where it is trapped in stone. This effectively removes it from the atmosphere permanently.