Climeworks developed and patented a direct air capture technology that removes carbon dioxide directly from the air. The company uses clean, renewable energy to provide a sustainable carbon dioxide removal solution. The captured air can be further reused in other fields such as synthetic fuels, greenhouse agriculture, and carbonated beverages. It can also be permanently stored underground in volcanic rock using a mineralization process.
With the mission to empower one billion people to act now and remove carbon dioxide from the air, Climeworks has built multiple direct air capture plants in Europe and plans to rapidly increase capacity to a scale of removing billions of tons of carbon dioxide.
Today, Microsoft announced that through its Climate Innovation Fund, it will provide funding for Climeworks’ first-of-a-kind commercial-scale, fully renewable carbon capture and mineralization plant in Iceland. Orca will take carbon dioxide removal to the next level. It combines Climeworks' direct air capture technology with the underground storage of carbon dioxide provided by Carbfix on a much larger scale, capturing 4'000 tons of CO₂ per year. By capturing 4'000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, it will be the world's biggest climate-positive facility to date. The plant is expected to be in operation in late spring 2021.
The tech giant will also become a customer of Climeworks to purchase negative emissions from Climeworks to permanently remove 1,400 metric tons of carbon. By trusting in Climeworks, Microsoft is taking a step toward achieving its mission of becoming carbon negative 2030.