Climeworks: Sucking CO2 from the air ton by ton!

While the rumours were circulating the planet that Donald Trump would take the USA out of the Paris accord, an excited audience were sat in Hinwil, Switzerland, anticipating the launch of world changing technology. And we were there!

On Wednesday 31st of May, the Swiss startup Climeworks, launched the first ever commercial CO2 capture plant in the world!

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Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher © business campaigning GmbH

This extraordinary innovation has been developed over 10 years, since Jan Wurzbacher and Cristoph Gebald began their dream as PhD students at ETH, a Swiss federal university known for fostering innovative startups. Technology to take CO2 from the ambient air has existed previously, but Climeworks have developed a filtering material that makes the process cost effective and therefore commercial.

Climeworks’ plant, the first of many planned, draws the air into a vacuum, where the CO2 is chemically bound to a filter. Once saturated with CO2 the filter is heated up to around than 100 °C, releasing the CO2, which can then be supplied to customers. Climeworks have positioned their first plant within the vicinity of Kezo, an incineration facility, and use their waste heat to raise the temperature of the filters, meaning no fossil energy needs to be used within the process. The filter, which can be used over thousands of cycles, then releases CO2 free air back into the atmosphere.

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Climeworks’ CO2 capture plant © business campaigning GmbH

The first customer of Climeworks’ CO2, Gebrüder Meier, have their greenhouse, full of cucumbers and tomatoes, right next to the Climeworks plant. The CO2 pumped into the greenhouse, directly from the plant increases the productivity of the greenhouse by up to 20%.

After speeches from prestigious guests Prof. Dr Lino Guzella, Dr. Yasmine Calisesi, Prod. Dr. Thomas Stocker and Dr. Julio Friedmann, who all steeped praise on the achievements of Gebald and Wurzbacher, as well as talking passionately about the implications of this technology for the future of the world, it was time to launch the plant. The two excited founders took to the stage to press the red button, which sent a drone, with live feed, across to the Climeworks plant. The audience whooped and cheered as the fans began to turn and the CO2 immediately began to be collected, which could be seen on the live stream. The drone then shot back over to the Gebrüder Meier greenhouse, and there were more cheers as the CO2 counter began to increase.

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Gebrüder Meier’s huge greenhouse © business campaigning GmbH

On this Wednesday afternoon, in the middle of the Swiss countryside, their was a feeling in the room that this was a pivotal moment in the history of the world.

As well as being a commercial operation, Climeworks has a vision of filtering 1% of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025. Their technology will play an extremely important role in the fight against climate change and enabling countries signed up to the Paris accord to meet their goals. We left the event, very enthusiastic and enjoyed a beautiful summer evening in Zürich.

Yesterday evening the news of Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement hit the world. We didn’t need to think a lot. Our company’s motto is “meaningful campaigns  for meaningful ideas”. Immediately we launched a Twitter account (@planet_1st).

When we got up this morning we left everything else for the weekend and prepared to launch this campaign. We needed a website, a blog, a newsletter CRM tool, a Facebook page, a cartoon and a video, all in order to launch a Kickstarter campaign, which is now imminent. The video will be launched as soon as we have purchased the license for using the underlying music. Imminent. It’s going to be great.

We remain hopeful that this moment will bring the rest of the world together to fight climate change.

By joining hands, businesses and individuals alike can make a difference.

Our campaign seeks to remove 100 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere using Climeworks’ technology, and storing it deep underground.

Join us and SIGN UP HERE for more information. And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook!

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