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Climeworks Unveils Mammoth: Largest Direct Air Capture Plant

by Anna

Climeworks, a pioneering Swiss company in the field of direct air capture and storage, has commenced operations at Mammoth, the world’s largest plant of its kind, located in Iceland. This milestone marks Climeworks’ second commercial facility in Iceland, surpassing its predecessor, Orca, in scale and carbon removal capacity.

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The Mammoth project, initiated by Climeworks in June 2022, adopts a modular design approach, with twelve of its planned 72 collector containers already installed on-site. The plant is slated for completion throughout 2024, boasting a nameplate capture capacity of up to 36,000 tons of CO₂ per year.

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Key to Mammoth’s operations is its utilization of renewable energy, specifically geothermal power sourced from Iceland’s partner ON Power. This renewable energy powers the direct air capture process, which relies on low-temperature heat akin to boiling water. Following capture, the CO₂ is transferred to storage partner Carbfix, where it undergoes a natural mineralization process within basaltic rock, transforming into stone and permanently sequestering the carbon underground. The entire process is rigorously verified and certified by independent third parties to ensure its environmental integrity.

Climeworks’ journey with Mammoth builds upon seven years of field experience, during which engineers have processed nearly 200 million data points daily. Insights gained from this experience have been instrumental in enhancing Mammoth’s performance, efficiency, recovery rates, and overall operational reliability, ensuring optimized CO₂ capture year-round.

Looking ahead, Climeworks aims to leverage operational insights from Mammoth to propel future direct air capture projects. Their roadmap through 2030 prioritizes the rollout of megaton-scale hubs, exemplified by their involvement in three U.S.-based proposals selected for significant public funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, totaling over $600 million. Notably, Project Cypress in Louisiana received an initial $50 million grant in March to kickstart operations.

Beyond the U.S., Climeworks is actively pursuing global expansion, with ongoing projects in Norway, Kenya, and Canada, while exploring additional potential sites for direct air capture and storage initiatives. By replicating their successful megaton hubs worldwide, Climeworks seeks to establish a comprehensive, scalable solution to combat carbon emissions on a global scale.

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