Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Bart van Overbeeke Photography for Carbyon

An ultra-fast CO2-capturing material for DAC


An all-electric, modular, and efficient system is making direct air capture more accessible and affordable

Spotted: The International Energy Agency’s analysis of the world’s Direct Air Capture (DAC) industry finds that more efforts are needed to build the capability required to reach 2050’s Net Zero Emissions (NZE) goal. If projects around the world go ahead as planned and work at full capacity, DAC deployment will reach around 4.7 megatonnes of CO2 by 2030. Although this is over 500 times today’s capture rate, it’s still less than seven per cent of what’s needed to align with the NZE scenario. 

DAC is currently the ‘most expensive application of carbon capture‘, which makes it difficult for plants to be developed quickly. Dutch DAC expert Carbyon is directly addressing the financial challenge with a goal of bringing the cost of capturing one tonne of carbon dioxide from the air to under €100.  

Carbyon has modified a fibre membrane with its carbon-adsorbing substance, creating a material with a large internal surface area that allows it to do in minutes what current processes do in hours. Called a fast-swing process, modular machines use the modified material to capture CO2 from the air more efficiently – and at much lower temperatures than traditional industry processes. The company’s recent breakthrough in its technology minimises unwanted water adsorption and brings energy consumption down to 2,500 kilowatts an hour per tonne of carbon captured.  

The machines are all-electric with relatively small footprints, making them ideal for use in a range of geographic environments. Currently, each tonne of the Carbyon material captures up to five tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, and now, the reduction in energy use makes the entire system more affordable and closer to the company’s goal of costing €100 per tonne. Applications for the captured carbon dioxide are many, and include enriching vertical farm and greenhouse air, producing renewable aviation fuel, and reducing emissions from buildings or long-distance transport fleets.  

Carbyon is now building its first full-scale machine that will have a capacity of around 100 tonnes of CO2 captured annually. Once completed, field testing will begin in 2025 at a range of locations to track efficiency of the process in different weather conditions and to research the best means of integrating with available – and future – fuel storage and production facilities.  

From new industrial chemicals to diamonds, Springwise’s library features captured carbon being put to use in a variety of ways.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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