Wyoming is known as one of the most conservative states in the U.S. But it could be a climate change hero once it completes building the world’s largest direct air carbon capture plant.
Dubbed Project Bison, the facility’s goal is to remove five million tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide each year by 2030. It’s a joint venture between Frontier Carbon Solutions and CarbonCapture. CarbonCapture will build the Wyoming facility and Frontier Carbon Solutions will sequester the carbon.
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Project Bison will operate similar to smaller plants already at work in Switzerland, Iceland, the U.S. and Canada. Fans will push air through special filters that bind chemically with the carbon dioxide. When the filters are heated and put under a vacuum, they’ll release the CO2, which will then be compressed under high pressure.
The technology is still fairly new and controversial. Currently, an Icelandic operation called Orca is the biggest working direct air capture facility. It only captures about 4,000 tons of carbon annually, which is equivalent to the emission of 790 autos. Hardly enough to save the world.
On the other hand, even Bison’s contribution seems paltry when you look at the scale of the problem. The U.S. emitted about 5,130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019. Meanwhile, Bison’s removal of five million tons still leaves 5,125 million tons in the atmosphere. Of course, the idea is to scale up this technology. Fast. Until it helps save our species.
The Wyoming plant is currently being built. The owners plan to start capturing carbon in 2023, starting with 10,000 tons annually and quickly expanding.
“We plan to have our first DAC modules fielded by the end of next year and to continue installing capacity as quickly as modules come off our production line,” said Adrian Corless, Carbon Capture’s chief executive officer and chief technology officer, in a press release.
Via Singularity Hub
Lead image via Carbon Capture