Written by Nihal Singh Dhingra, a grade 10 student
Climate enthusiasts have reason to cheer. A Swiss company called Climeworks has developed a climate-positive direct air carbon capture and storage plant named ORCA, which will be run by geothermal energy.
The plant situated in Iceland took under fifteen months to be set up.
What does it do?
The plant, which is an air-capture facility, basically sucks in carbon dioxide from the air and then buries it deep underground as rocks.
Here’s how it works.
The machines can capture up to 4000 tons of carbon dioxide every year, which is equal to the emissions of 870 cars. This co2 will then be trapped in a collector, closed and temperatures increased to 80-100 degrees Celsius. The carbon dioxide will then be mixed with water and released deep underground where it will react with basalt rock in a natural mineralization process, and turn into stone within a few years.
The success of Orca still remains to be seen. But the speed at which climate change is affecting the earth needs immediate action. Humans are late to chain the harmful effects of climate change and ambitious projects like this need to be implemented on a large scale.
Orca is Climeworks’ second such carbon capture plant. in 2017, the company created its first such plant in Switzerland.