New study confirms direct air capture as an efficient climate solution

Feb 05 2021

The assessment was carried out by RWTH Aachen University - using data from Climeworks. It shows that for typical operation conditions the environmental benefits of direct air capture far outweigh the impact caused by building and operating the technology.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) is a holistic scientific methodology assessing the environmental impact of products and services across its full cycle of operations. The RWTH Aachen University’s LCA shows that direct air capture has a low carbon footprint when run on low-carbon energy, such as waste heat or renewable energy.

Specifically, it found that Climeworks’ plants can reach a net carbon dioxide removal efficiency of more than 90%. In other words, over its whole lifespan (including construction, operations and recycling), a typical Climeworks plant re-emits less than 10% of the carbon dioxide it captures.

Future scenarios show that this can be further reduced to 4%. Moreover, the study indicates that scaling up direct air capture to remove up to billions of tons of carbon dioxide can be viable and not limited by material or energy requirements, which in turn means the technology can significantly contribute to achieving the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. 


Read the study

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Issue 78 - Nov - Dec 2020

CCUS in Asia: Japan’s Tomakomai project - achievements and future outlook .. China’s policy framework to achieve ‘historic ambition’ of net-zero emissions Norway launches £2.1 billion ‘Longship’ project .. Rystad: Europe could see $35 billion in CCS.....