Squamish company doubling its capacity to suck up carbon dioxide from the air

Sep 19 2019, 1:16 pm

The Squamish company that has been making industry-leading headway with developing new technology that permanently removes carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the atmosphere announced this week it will be doubling its capacity.

Carbon Engineering (CE) says it is expanding the capacity of the design of its first commercial direct air capture plant from 500,000 tons to one million tons of CO2 annually.

The latest advancement with the clean energy company, which has its plant and research facilities located on the Squamish waterfront, is in partnership with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures.

CE has continually stated that the advancement of its technology for scaled commercial purposes could be used to help climate change. The CO2 can be permanently stored underground or converted into a low-cost, low-carbon fuel that can be used to power existing motor vehicles — cars and trucks — and even airplanes without any modifications.

Carbon Engineering

The 2015-built Carbon Engineering pilot plant on the Squamish waterfront. (Carbon Engineering)

“Over the last few years we have observed a growing consensus in the science and policy sectors that both aggressive emissions reductions and large-scale removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is essential,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of CE, in a statement, who likened his company’s direct air capture to water treatment, sanitation, and waste disposal systems.

“We are now seeing this consensus building in the private sector. Corporations are publicly committing to reduce their environmental footprints, and many are finding that while some of their emissions can be directly cut or reduced from within their activities, others are far more challenging.”

Carbon Engineering

Artistic rendering of what a future industrialized scale Carbon Engineering plant could look like. (Carbon Engineering)

The plant is expected to begin construction in 2021 and become operational in 2023/24. This commercial operation is made possible with the major equity financing of USD $68 million that CE received earlier this year for this intended purpose.

Along with the company’s board of directors, management, and many staff, CE’s early investors also included Bill Gates and Murray Edwards.

As of today, entities that have invested into CE include Chevron Technology Ventures, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC, Bethel Lands Corporation Ltd, Carbon Order, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Rusheen Capital Management, LLC, Starlight Ventures, Thomvest Asset Management, the Benjamin Family, the Hodgkinson Family, and the Hutchison Family.