Innovation That Matters

| Photo source NeoCarbon

Capturing carbon at scale by leveraging cooling towers


One company uses industrial cooling towers and waste heat sources to capture CO2 from ambient air

Spotted: The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that in the net zero by 2050 scenario, direct air capture (DAC) needs to reach over 85 megatonnes of CO2 in 2030. Currently, the 18 direct air capture plants in operation around the world are only sequestering 0.01 megatonnes of CO2. While experts consider 60 megatonnes of CO2 captured per year to be an attainable amount, additional large-scale plants are needed to reach that volume. 

As well as building new plants, retrofitting old structures could be another way of reducing global emissions. German company NeoCarbon has built a system that integrates with existing cooling towers to capture carbon dioxide from the circulating air. Due to this approach, NeoCarbon cuts the cost of DAC significantly and increases the scaling speed. At scale, NeoCarbon is able to capture 1.3 gigatonne of CO2 per year

Video source NeoCarbon

Carbon dioxide is removed from the air as it circulates throughout the cooling towers, reducing companies’ emissions footprint without requiring any additional building expenses. 

NeoCarbon transforms captured emissions into newly usable formats, including industrial chemicals and food-grade materials. The CO2 captured by NeoCarbon’s carbon capture modules can be used for industrial processes that utilise CO2, or it can be permanently stored to become truly carbon negative.

Sequestering carbon is an exciting area of growth, with Springwise spotting innovations improving ways emissions are captured, as well as expanding the uses of the waste carbon. In the fashion industry, one company is replacing traditional polyester fabrics with a net-positive version made from carbon dioxide. And another organisation is using geothermal energy to sustainably power its direct air capture systems.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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