Apart from the pandemic, the world is also facing another crisis in climate change due to the amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted from all sorts of things, whether it be cars, planes, factories, and so on. So what can we do about that? Apart from trying to go green, it seems that over in Iceland, they have just turned on a machine that sucks carbon dioxide out of the air.
Dubbed Orca (after the Icelandic word “orka” that means “energy”), this machine is capable of sucking up 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the air annually. It sounds like a lot, but in reality, an estimate from the US Environmental Protection Agency says that’s worth about 870 cars.
The machine works by using a fan to draw air in from the outside into a collector that contains a filter. This filter is what traps the carbon dioxide and once the collector is closed, the temperature is then raised to release the CO2 from the material. The CO2 is then mixed with water and injected 1,000 meters in a nearby basalt rock where it then becomes mineralized.
It sounds like a fantastic invention, but like we said, 4,000 tonnes a year does equate to much, especially given that car manufacturers probably put out more than 870 cars a day. You could argue that why don’t we just build more of these Orca plants?
This is actually one of the things critics have pointed out, and that is the cost, where each plant is said to csto $10-$15 million to build, and that it could take decades to operate at scale. However, we suppose we all have to start somewhere, and this is better than nothing.