The world’s largest plant designed to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it into rock started running yesterday in Iceland.
The plant, named Orca, after the Icelandic word orka meaning energy, consists of four units, each made up of two metal boxes, similar in appearance to the containers used for maritime transport.
Constructed by Switzerland’s Climeworks and Iceland’s Carbfix, when operating at capacity the plant will draw 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the air every year, according to the companies.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that equates to the emissions from about 870 cars. To collect the carbon dioxide, the plant uses fans to draw air into a collector, which has a filter material inside.
Proponents of so-called carbon capture and storage (CCS) believe these technologies can become a major tool in the fight against climate change.