Clean carbon dioxide from the air; is essential If people want to limit global warming, experts say, and a California startup claims that it can do this by using limestone as an absorbent sponge,
San Francisco-based Heirloom Carbon has become a household name in the new sector of carbon capture technology. CO2and even closed a deal with Microsoft to help it achieve its zero emissions ambitions.
Governments are adopting similar innovations to meet their climate goals because polluting emissions are still too high to reduce the greenhouse effect.
Extracting CO2 directly from the atmosphere is “the closest thing we have to a time machine” that will get us back to cleaner air, says Heirloom co-founder and CEO Shashank Samala.
“If you want to reverse climate change and go back to where things were, get rid of carbon It’s the closest thing we have to eliminating legacy emissions from the air,” he said.
- Carbon capture will be a central topic in discussions of climate at COP28, which will take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.
Many see that it should be approaching a zero-emissions world, while others fear that it is promoted as an easy way out, thus avoiding making the necessary sacrifices to stop climate change.
The United Nations Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which chairs the COP meetings, considered “inevitable” the deployment of carbon capture and storage systems if we want to achieve the goal of limiting the increase in the temperature of the planet to 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels.
“Squeeze the sponge.”
Heirloom has set a goal of removing 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. CO2 of the year between now and 2035
That would help reduce between 10,000 and 20,000 million tons of carbon They should be removed every year from now until the end of the century, according to the National Academy of Sciences deer.
“Heirloom uses limestone, which is a natural mineral; we give it superpowers and turn it into a sponge that can absorb CO2 from the atmosphere,” explained co-founder and head of research Noah McQueen.
“Then we squeezed that sponge, and we stored that CO2 permanently underground,” he said.
- Samala vividly remembers the storms, droughts, and extreme heat waves of her childhood in India.
“I remember my mom putting a wet towel on a fan and using it as an air conditioner,” he said. “Climate change has unequal effects on weak people.
After studying engineering at DeerSamala, she briefly worked at the financial technology company Square and then founded an electronics company.
“But the call of time is always there”, he recalls, while every year events such as forest fires in California or the loss of coral reefs push him to change careers.
In reviewing the 2018 IPCC report, Samala focused on carbon capture, a field that previously needed urgent innovation and investment.
“There are no miracles.”
Direct air extraction techniques (DAC), such as those made by Heirloom and Swiss pioneer Climeworks, are different from systems where carbon is captured at the source (CCS), such as factory smokestacks.
- Heirloom chose limestone because it is available in large quantities. And there is no shortage of storage space, either.
“Just inside America is enough to save all the emissions we’ve been putting out since the Industrial Revolution,” said McQueen.
Knapp, co-founder of the startup Cocoon, believes it’s easier to absorb CO2 directly from where it is issued, such as a factory or steel plant.
“There is not much CO2 in the atmosphere,” compared to metal fabrication furnaces, which release concentrations of CO2 from 10 to 30%.
This is compared to the concentration of CO2 in the air we breathe, which is only 0.4%. Picking it up can be “like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Knapp added.“There’s no silver bullet to solving climate change,” but “we don’t need mir miracles; just need solutions, and the Heirloom effort suggests one, he added.
Heirloom’s Samala forced his company to fulfill a strict commitment not to resell the CO2 to companies that will eventually return it to the atmosphere.
And the company attacked the so-called greenwash where some industries, and the oil and gas lobby in particular, use a vague promise of carbon removal “as a way to distract ourselves”.
“For us, going against the status quo is very difficult, but what should we do?”, he declared.