Carbon Capture Companies tackling the Climate Crisis
4 minute read
When you think about climate change solutions, you probably think about things like solar panels, windmills, and electric cars. Maybe you even visualize giant walls being erected along the coasts to prevent sea level rise. But something you might not have thought about is: why can’t we just suck all that excess carbon out of the atmosphere? And the answer is: we can! It’s called Carbon Capture. And there are a bunch of carbon capture companies doing just that!
What is carbon capture?
Carbon Capture occurs when carbon emissions are captured from common sources of CO2, like power plants, factories and cars. There’s also another method of capturing carbon called Direct Air Capture (or DAC for short).
Direct Air Capture occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) is extracted from the atmosphere. That CO2 is then “permanently stored in deep geological formations” (like giant rocks!), added to materials (like concrete!), or used to produce alternative fuels (The International Energy Agency).
Now, of course, it would be best if we simply stopped putting all that carbon into the atmosphere and we need to do that too. But the truth is: we need to be looking at all climate change solutions and moving the needle on as many of them as possible. So yes, let’s start moving away from fossil fuels! Let’s supercharge existing nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration. And let’s look into new and innovative solutions like Carbon Capture. Let’s do it all! And fast!!!
Carbon Capture Examples
Let’s dive into a couple of Carbon Capture companies that are bringing game-changing solutions to the world…
Graviky Labs captures carbon from heavy polluters, such as factories and cars, and processes the carbon into usable materials, like:
- Fuel – this keeps carbon in a continuous cycle. We can use it to power up our cars, and then we can capture the carbon and convert it back into fuel. Oh hey there circular economy! Who knew that fuel could be used in a circular way?!?! 🤷🏻♀️
- Ink – Instead of extracting ink from raw materials, they convert the captured carbon into ink for art materials, screen printing, and manufacturing credit cards that help you track and offset carbon emissions.
Here’s a quick look at how Graviky Labs is making printed clothing more sustainable:
Carbon Upcycling Technologies
Ok so I know looking at the video above makes this whole carbon capture thing seem really sexy and hip. But there are also some seemingly boring carbon capture solution, like ones that are going to disrupt the construction industry. I’m talking about the most boring material in the world: concrete (aka cement). By the way, did you know that after water, cement is the most commonly used material in the world? Crazy right?
So while cement isn’t the funnest thing to talk about, it is responsible for about 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions. You see, the production of cement releases CO2. It’s essentially a chemical reaction that occurs during the process. Not only that, the process itself also requires a ton of fossil fuels, so it’s a bit of a double whammy.
Ok, so now that I’ve pulled you in with some scary facts about cement, let’s dive into how one Carbon Capture startup is using cement to store carbon…
Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a Canadian-based company, captures carbon from power plants and puts it into cement, plastics and other polymers. After capturing the carbon, they use it as an additive in these materials, which permanently stores the carbon inside the material. A well-constructed concrete building can last for 100 years, which means this a great way to store all that carbon for long periods of time.
We need BIG ideas…
Here’s the thing…there’s a lot of climate doom hanging over our heads these days. But there are also a lot of inspiring, creative innovations coming out of this climate conundrum. And with billions of dollars being invested into climate tech companies, there’s hope.
One thing I know for sure: with a bit of creativity and thinking outside the box, we can tackle the climate crisis and make sure that we all have a safe, healthy and equitable planet.
What about you?
Have you heard of any interesting and cool climate change solutions recently? Was this the first time you heard about carbon capture companies disrupting the way we view the climate crisis? Share your thoughts in the comments below!