Top 10 Companies working on Carbon Capture Technology
As the world races towards achieving net-zero emissions, carbon capture technologies have emerged as crucial players in mitigating the impact of hard-to-abate industries on our climate. The once far-fetched idea of capturing carbon emissions is now becoming a sustainable reality, thanks to significant investments by major players in the field. Lets see who is working on the carbon capture technology around the world.
What is carbon capture technology?
Carbon capture technology represents a suite of advanced methodologies designed to curtail the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. These techniques primarily target sizable emission sources like power plants, industrial facilities, and biomass plants. The captured CO2 undergoes various applications, including subsurface storage in geological formations, utilization in enhanced oil recovery, fuel production, and the creation of construction materials.
Carbon capture technology plays a pivotal role in the pursuit of net zero emissions—a delicate equilibrium between emitted greenhouse gases and those removed from the atmosphere.
Several sophisticated technologies underpin carbon capture, including adsorption, chemical looping, membrane gas separation, gas hydration, and chemical absorption. As of 2022, carbon capture technology manages to capture approximately one-thousandth of global CO2 emissions, with predominant applications in fossil gas processing. Despite its current niche, the trajectory suggests an expanding role for carbon capture technology in fulfilling broader global energy and climate objectives in the foreseeable future.
Global Thermostat, founded in 2010, employs Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology to capture 4,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Their patented “Carbon dioxide Removal Assembly” (CDRA) process uses a proprietary adsorbent material, making strides in making carbon capture economically viable. Partnerships with industry giants like ExxonMobil showcase the potential for DAC technology in various applications, from enhanced oil recovery to renewable fuel production.
Swiss company Climeworks specializes in DAC technology, extracting 4,000 tonnes of CO2 yearly directly from the atmosphere. With partnerships including Audi and Microsoft, Climeworks is at the forefront of advancing carbon capture technology globally. Their facilities in Switzerland, Italy, and Iceland highlight the versatility and scalability of direct air capture.
CO2 Solutions, developed by Saipem in 1997, takes an enzyme-based approach to capture 11,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from industrial emissions. This technology not only reduces costs compared to traditional methods but also contributes to a more sustainable process by avoiding toxic chemicals and harmful byproducts.
LanzaTech: Transforming Waste Gases into Resources
LanzaTech, a biotechnology company founded in 2005, captures an impressive 150,000 tonnes of CO2 annually using Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) technology. By converting waste gases into valuable chemicals and fuels, LanzaTech is not only mitigating emissions but also creating a circular economy for industrial processes.
Carbon Clean, founded in 2009, captured a staggering 335,745 tonnes of CO2 in 2022. Their low-cost technology, using a proprietary solvent, demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale carbon capture from industrial processes. With offices in London, India, and the United States, Carbon Clean is making significant strides in global carbon reduction efforts.
Aker Carbon Capture, a subsidiary of Aker Solutions, captures 400,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from waste flue gases. As a publicly listed company, Aker Carbon Capture provides modular solutions for easy transport and installation, catering to various industries’ carbon capture needs.
Carbon Engineering, with $110 million in funding, utilizes a liquid DAC technique to capture 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Their innovative potassium hydroxide solution has gained support from industry leaders like Chevron and Bill Gates, positioning Carbon Engineering as a key player in the carbon capture landscape.
Quest Carbon Capture and Storage, developed by Shell Canada, captures 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually. This project, completed in 2015, showcases the potential of post-combustion capture and deep underground storage, contributing to Canada’s carbon reduction goals.
CarbonFree focuses on converting 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions into carbon-negative chemicals using patented technologies. Their SkyCycle™ and SkyMine® products offer modular and scalable solutions, promoting on-site carbon capture without the need for extensive infrastructure.
Icelandic company Carbfix, established in 2006, employs a unique CCS technology, capturing 1 billion tonnes of CO2 over a lifetime. By injecting captured CO2 into basaltic rock formations, Carbfix accelerates a natural process, creating stable carbonate minerals and providing a safe and permanent storage solution for carbon dioxide.
The landscape of carbon capture is rapidly evolving, with innovative technologies from these leading companies offering hope in the global fight against climate change. As these companies continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, the path to achieving net-zero emissions becomes increasingly tangible. The collaboration between industry leaders, governments, and innovative startups is paving the way for a sustainable future where carbon capture plays a pivotal role in mitigating the impact of industrial processes on our environment.