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13 May 2024

Climework’s Icelandic plant, Mammoth, has started capturing CO2

Amy Power
Climework’s Icelandic plant, Mammoth, has started capturing CO2

Climeworks has made some significant developments since its previous direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) plant, Orca, and the company has recently announced that their new and largest DAC+S plant will begin operations very soon. This is a huge step forwards for Climework and their new plant, Mammoth, is an estimated ten times larger than Orca.

A lot of development was applied to the creation of this plant, with its main purpose being to be capable of capturing around 36,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide ever year. This will be possible once the plant is fully operational and the plant will function through a system that filters carbon dioxide from the air, then stores it permanently underground. This process is already successfully occurring, as through the plant’s seventy-two collector containers already being installed onsite, the plant has already managed to capture its first CO2.

This project has been underway since June 2022, when Climeworks first broke ground on Mammoth. The plant was built in a way that would enable it to work effectively and efficiently, which is why the company chose a modular design. So far, a total of seventy-two collector containers have already been installed onsite and Climeworks is aiming to have completed the construction of the plant by the end of 2024. This was the chosen design, as from seven years of experience within the field, it has been proven that this particular design increases plant performance, efficiency, recovery and it also ensures better availability. These benefits maximise the plant’s ability to capture CO2 during the year, both efficiently and effectively. Along with benefits for Mammoth and the carbon capture industry as a whole, this development will help Climeworks build and expand their business further and it will also increase their operational field experience. Furthermore, it will also mean that the company’s 180 science and R&D experts will be able to continue working on large-scale testing and development.

As well as being good for the carbon capture industry, Mammoth’s direct air capture process is powered off of renewable energy, which means that its DAC process requires low-temperature heat. This energy that the plant requires for this process is provided by Climework’s geothermal energy partners, ON Power.

Climework’s Mammoth also relies on another partnership to function properly, which is shown in Carbfix’s involvement in the process. Once the carbon dioxide is released from the filters, Carbfix, the storage partner, collects the CO2 and transports the CO2 underground. Once it is underground, the CO2 reacts with basaltic rock during a natural process and this consequently turns the CO2 into stone, enabling it to remain easily permanently stored.

Climeworks has made it clear, that now that it has set up multiple plants which are operating successfully, including Mammoth, their next steps will involve using the knowledge they have gained to replicate its megaton hubs worldwide, with the aim of eventually reaching a global scale. In terms of other successful projects, for a while Climeworks has been focused on developing projects in Norway, Kenya and Canada, whilst they also explore further potential for other direct air capture and storage sites.

 

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