Skip to main content
Energy

The world’s largest vacuum ever is here to help fight climate change

May 10

Share

The world’s largest vacuum is now operational and on a mission to help combat climate change. Built by Swiss company Climeworks, the facility, dubbed the “Mammoth,” is a direct air capture plant that was designed to suck up planet-heating pollution.

QR code for SAN app download

Download the SAN app today to stay up-to-date with Unbiased. Straight Facts™.

Point phone camera here

Climeworks assembled the plant in Iceland. When it is at full capacity, the Mammoth is reportedly able extract 36,000 tons of carbon from the air. That quantity is equivalent to removing nearly 8,000 gas-powered cars from the road for a year. The plant’s creators project that by 2050, the plant will have pulled out a gigaton of CO2 from the atmosphere. This emissions reduction would be equal to eliminating around two-thirds of all gas vehicles across North America for a year.

Once the plant takes carbon out of the air, the facility transports it underground where those greenhouse gases naturally transform into stone. Meanwhile, the energy the Mammoth needs to make all this happen comes entirely from clean geothermal power.

However, cost implications are a major factor in the efficacy of this type of technology. While $100 per ton of carbon removed is considered the threshold for affordability, the Mammoth currently operates at a significantly higher cost: around $1,000 per ton.

Despite this obstacle, Climeworks co-CEO and co-founder Jan Wurzbacher remains optimistic about the future trajectory of costs for the Mammoth. The company’s target is to reduce the expense to $300 per ton by 2030, eventually reaching the crucial $100 mark by 2050.

Tags: , , ,

JACK ALYMER: IT SUCKS WHEN THINGS GET DIRTY.

ESPECIALLY when it comes to AIR QUALITY.

BUT WHAT IF CLEANING IT WAS AS EASY AS THIS?

YOU’D NEED THE WORLD’S BIGGEST VACUUM EVER TO DO IT.

ENTER: THE MAMMOTH.

NOW UP AND RUNNING IN ICELAND, THIS DIRECT AIR CAPTURE PLANT WAS DESIGNED TO SUCK UP PLANET-HEATING POLLUTION.

AT FULL CAPACITY, THE MAMMOTH CAN PULL NEARLY 40,000 TONS OF CARBON FROM THE ATMOSPHERE.

THAT’S EQUIVALENT TO TAKING ABOUT 8,000 GAS POWERED CARS OFF THE ROAD FOR A YEAR.

BY 20-50, THE PLANT’S CREATORS SAY IT WILL HAVE REMOVED A GIGATON OF CO2-
EQUAL TO ELIMINATING AROUND TWO THIRDS OF ALL GAS VEHICLES IN THE ENTIRE CONTINENT OF NORTH AMERICA FOR A YEAR.

ONCE THE CARBON IS TAKEN OUT OF THE AIR, IT WILL BE TRANSPORTED UNDERGROUND WHERE THOSE EMISSIONS NATURALLY TRANSFORM INTO STONE.

AND THE WHOLE OPERATION RUNS ON CLEAN GEOTHERMAL ENERGY.

THE ONLY PROBLEM IS, DOING THIS ISN’T CHEAP.

100 DOLLARS PER TON OF CARBON REMOVED IS WIDELY SEEN AS THE THRESHOLD FOR MAKING THIS TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY AFFORDABLE.

BUT IT CURRENTLY COSTS THE MAMMOTH CLOSER TO 1,000 DOLLARS PER TON.

THE COMPANY WHO BUILT IT EXPECTS THOSE PRICES TO COME DOWN IN THE FUTURE THOUGH.

THEIR GOAL IS TO REACH 300 DOLLARS A TON BY 20-30, BEFORE HITTING THAT CRUCIAL 100-DOLLAR-MARK IN 20-50.

JACK AYLMER – STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS.