Climeworks currently operates the largest plant in Iceland to scrub CO2 directly out of the atmosphere. Dirk Nuber is responsible for the company’s project development. He is looking for locations for further plants and preparing everything so that they can go into operation. Important points include large amounts of renewable energy for the capture process, as well as water and the disposal of the CO2. In Iceland, the partner Carbfix is responsible for this. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in water and injected into the soil, where it is mineralised within a few months. The entire process is subject to monitoring. The documentation makes it possible to regenerate certificates for negative emissions. This is the actual product of Climeworks.
The company’s clients include: the Swiss bank UBS, the American software company Microsoft and the consulting firm PWC.
Climeworks was founded in 2009 and describes itself as the market leader in the DAC sector. Only last year, the company raised several hundred million US dollars in capital. And yet, in a way, Climeworks is still at the very beginning. Profits are still a long way off; first the process has to become more efficient and cost-effective. According to Dirk Nuber, the next goal is a price of 200 US dollars per tonne of carbon dioxide captured. There is one decisive obstacle on the way there: the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere is “only” about 0.04 per cent. In any case, therefore, large quantities of air have to be moved and filtered to extract the CO2.