We can remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but what’s the point?

Our goal is to remove 100 tons of CO2 from the air, and store it safely underground. And for that we need your support. (You can give to the cause here. Just 1 Swiss Franc is equal to 2 kg of CO2)  Climeworks have the aim of removing 1% of global CO2 emissions from the air by 2025. Considering that over 41 gigatonnes of CO2 is emitted into the air every year, 1% is a huge amount. It is an ambitious goal, but with the scalability of their technology, it is far within the realms of possibility. But why do we want to remove this CO2 from the air, and why is it beneficial for the climate?

Firstly, we are not suggesting that emissions should be reduced. The fight against climate change is about attacking on more than one front. Emissions need to be reduced drastically, which is where renewable energy technology comes in, as well as innovations like Blue Crude, an incredible fuel produced by Sunfire in Germany, which is carbon neutral and can be used to run your car, enabling a circular economy, where only CO2 taken out of the air is put back into the air.

Both reducing emissions and removing CO2 from the atmosphere have the same net effect, but in order to reduce the present concentration levels of CO2, removal is extremely important. For us to meet our emissions targets, we need to both reduce emissions and mitigate against them at the same time.

Removing it from the atmosphere is one thing, but keeping it from going back into the atmosphere is another important issue. With methods such as CO2 sinks, for example a concentration of plants, forests or kelp beds, there is no guarantee that it may not once again be released, for example within a wildfire. By injecting the CO2 deep underground, or sequestering it, removes it forever, with no risk of it entering the atmosphere again.

The safe level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 350 parts per million (ppm), but we have passed the 400 ppm level! In order for us to reduce the atmospheric CO2 levels to a safe amount of 350, we need to remove 50 ppm plus an extra 2 ppm a year. For this, there needs to be a dramatic reduction of the CO2 emission levels as well as a big scale up in carbon capture technology. Currently, reservoirs, in which CO2 can be stored, are estimated to be able to store 545 GtC of CO2, according to the IPCC in 2005. It would take 771 Gtc of CO2 stored to reduce the concentration by 186 ppm, which would put us well on the way to halting climate change.

Many, including IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri and UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres, have expressed the need for CO2 removal. Now, the technology is becoming efficient enough to do so commercially, which means that you can make a difference

If you want to be part of the solution, why not head to our campaign page and pledge a small amount ($1 = 2 kg of CO2) Thank you for your support

 

 

We are asking you a hard question!

One of the hardest things to do is to ask for money! But, that is exactly what we are doing! The #SuckItUp campaign has two aims, both which support the fight against climate change. On the one hand, we want to promote clean technology, and show the world that he needn’t wait for our governments to change take action against climate change. On the other, we want to enable you to be able to make a difference and take a stand against climate change.

We are delighted that many of you have taken up the battle, and pledged your hard earned cash to our campaign. If we make out target, your money will be used to remove 100 tons of CO2 from the air, storing it deep and safely underground for good. Thank you all for your support! You have now taken us over the 6000 Swiss Franc mark, but there is still a long way to go.

We also thanks those of you who have shared our campaign with your networks, and urged people to support it. We have had a lot of messages of support and many have been surprised that technology that can make such a difference to our world exists already. One piece of feedback we have received is that people didn’t know that this was a crowdfunding campaign, and that actually, we are asking you to pledge money in order to remove 100 tons of CO2 from the air.

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We are not asking you to dig too deep into your pockets. Just 1 Swiss Franc ($1) will remove 2kg of CO2 from the air! (You can see what else your money will achieve here) Every little help! Please pledge and support and together we can be part of the solution, and not the problem!

Crowdfunding doesn’t work like giving to a charity. If the goal isn’t reached, then no one is charged and we do not receive a penny towards removing 100 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere. We need your help to achieve this.

Please go to our campaign page by clicking here, pledge any amount you can, and put the Planet First

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you care about the future of your family?

Do we care about our children and grandchildren enough? Do we think about the future of our families?

We human beings are hard wired to develop, individually and as a group. Everyday, and every generation, we strive to advance our technologies and improve our lives. For some countries that means faster internet, and others it means to be light ones house, have clean water and feed ones family. With each generation’s need to enhance its life, our energy usage increases, more CO2 gets pumped into the atmosphere, and our world comes closer and closer to the point of no return.

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Our energy usage will not reduce, but we strive to develop without thinking about the consequences for our Grandchildren and their grandchildren. Our actions will directly effect our families to come. Droughts and floods will cause massive displacement of people and food shortages and the gap between the rich and poor will widen. The lives of our future families will be drastically more challenging than ours if we do not take action now. The technology has been developed for us to make a difference individually and collectively. But, we need to prove that we care for our families of the future, by sacrificing for them.

This campaign enables you to take a first step to invest in the future of your family. You will need to take more steps to ensure their future, but the first step is always the most important. To take that step, back our campaign to remove 100 tons of CO2 out of the air, and store it away forever!

Removing CO2 from the air: How does it work?

Our aim is to suck 100 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and prove to the world that technology already exists that can mitigate against the amount of CO2 being pumped into the air, and be part of the solution in the fight against climate change. Though there are various technologies in development, the first to market was produced by Climeworks, an innovative Swiss Startup. It was the launch of their carbon capture plant in Switzerland, the first commercial plant of its kind in the world, that inspired us to begin this campaign.

The Climeworks plant was built in Hinwil, in the heart of the Swiss countryside. Surrounded by beautiful surroundings it is attached to premises of Kezo, a waste incineration company, and close to the huge greenhouse of Gebrüder Meier, who grow cucumber and tomatoes. The reasons of this strategic location will become evident later in this blog, but take notice that the Climeworks carbon capture plant is not located near a power station or an inner city. the plant captures carbon efficiently no matter where it is placed or how fresh the air is.

The system, the first of many planned, draws the air into a vacuum, where the CO2 is chemically bound to a filter. The filter, which is made out of porous granulates modified with amines, which bind the CO2 in conjunction with the moisture in the air, is the Climeworks invention that makes this technology work. Once saturated with CO2 the filter is heated up to 100 °C, releasing the CO2, which is then captured, ready to be stored underground, or sent as a raw material to customers. The filter, which can be used in over a thousand cycles, then releases CO2 free air back into the atmosphere. 

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Climeworks filter 

The question you may be asking is, how much energy do they use to run the plant, and heat the filter up to 100 degrees? Well, very little! As the plant is situated at the site of Kezo incinerating plant, most of the energy required comes from low-grade/waste heat. The plant can use waste heat or even renewable energy to keep its carbon footprint to the absolute minimum. The plant is capable of removing 900 tons of CO2 from the ambient air annually. As it is a modular system, it is easy for this to be scaled up to much larger amounts and put anywhere in the world. Pollution or no pollution, the plant is as effective.

Now we come to the other part of Climeworks’ strategy for their first commercial plant. They needed a customer! And that is where the green house of Gebrüder Meier comes in. A long the few hundred metres between the Climeworks plant and the greenhouse, runs a pipe which delivers the freshly captured CO2 directly into the greenhouse. The greenhouse already used CO2 to enhance its growing by up to 20%, so it was easy for them to use the CO2 Climeworks have captured from the air using the same infrastructure.

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The Gebrüder Meier Greenhouse, taken from the Climeworks plant

Using the CO2 as a raw material in the Gebrüder Meier greenhouse, or in carbonated drinks, food packaging, or to create synthetic fuels means creating a circular economy. By ‘mining’ CO2 from the air, it will end the reliance on fossil CO2. Eventually, we only need to put into the air, what we take out from the air!

In our case, we want to take out of the air completely and store it safely underground. We need your support to do this. To support us in this mission, please go to our crowdfunding page on WeMakeIt! Thank you!

Why should we store CO2 underground?

CO2 is being pumped into our atmosphere at an alarming rate. In 2012 it was reported that the combined total of CO2 released into the atmosphere was over 38 billion tons, which is the equivalent of over 108 KG per second! The Paris Climate Agreement seeks to reduce global carbon emissions in order to keep the Earth’s temperature to below a 2 degree increase on pre-industrial temperatures. Reducing world emissions is only part of the story of the fight against climate change. Removing CO2 from the atmosphere is also part of the solution. But once it is removed, where is it put?

One use for the CO2 filtered from the air is as a raw material. It can be used in fizzy drinks, food packaging, commercial green houses, and even turned into fuel to run your cars. The Climeworks’ carbon capturing plant in Switzerland, the first of its kind in the world, sends its captured CO2 to a local greenhouse, increasing productivity by around 20-30%. Using the CO2 in this manner reduces the burden on fossil fuel usage and encourages a circular economy. Only putting back into the air the CO2 taken from the air.

The Planet First campaign seeks to remove 100 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, permanently. (Don’t forget to back the campaign here!) The best way to do this is to inject the CO2 deep underground, a process called carbon sequestration. Injecting CO2 underground is something that has been already been happening for quite a while, with the first commercial example the Weyburn-Midale Carbon Dioxide Project in 2000. Usually, it is injected into an geological formation, deep beneath the surface of the Earth. Depleted oil and gas fields and un-mineable coal seams have also been suggested as places to story CO2.

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CO2 Storage (Wikipedia)

When the carbon dioxide has been captured and compressed into a so-called supercritical state, in which it is somewhere between a liquid and a gas, it is then pumped through a well into subsurface rocks, between 3,000 and 15,000 feet below the surface of the Earth.  Just like oil and gas, which has been trapped underground for millions of years the CO2 can be stored underground for very long periods. It works best when pumped into porous rocks that contain small open areas within the rock which enables the CO2 solution to move through the rock.

Recently, in Iceland, scientists found that CO2 injected underground into a Basalt formation actually turned into solid rock within 2 years. The CO2 is rapidly converted into stable carbonate minerals meaning that it will be locked into this solid form and will not ever be released into the atmosphere.

Trapping the captured CO2 under the ground directly mitigates against the high levels of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere. We do not suggest that this is the entire solution. Emissions still need to be cut, renewable energy utilised, and other measures taken to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and keep out climate as healthy as possible, before it is too late.

Help us promote this campaign and don’t forget to make a pledge here. Even 1 Swiss Franc will help!

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_capture_and_storage

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2016/november/storing-carbon-dioxide-underground-by-turning-it-into-rock.html