HomeScience & TechIceland Unveils World's Largest Carbon Capture Facility Mammoth

Iceland Unveils World’s Largest Carbon Capture Facility Mammoth

Iceland has emerged as a key player in the fight against climate change with the launch of Mammoth, the world’s largest facility for extracting carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Operated by Swiss firm Climeworks, this groundbreaking plant quadruples the global capacity for direct air capture (DAC), marking a significant milestone in environmental stewardship.

Existing DAC projects worldwide collectively capture around 10,000 metric tonnes of carbon annually. However, Mammoth is poised to extract up to 36,000 metric tonnes per year once fully operational in 2024. Harnessing innovative direct air capture technology, Mammoth operates as a colossal vacuum, drawing in air and utilizing chemical processes to strip out carbon.

This isn’t Climeworks’ first foray into direct air capture in Iceland. Mammoth’s predecessor, Orca, pales in comparison, demonstrating the exponential growth of this vital technology. Post-extraction, the captured carbon undergoes a sequestration process in partnership with Icelandic company Carbfix. This process converts the carbon into stone, effectively locking it away from the atmosphere indefinitely.

What’s more, Mammoth operates entirely on Iceland’s abundant and clean geothermal energy, showcasing a commitment to sustainability at every level of operation. However, not all voices in the environmental community are unanimous in their praise. Lili Fuhr, director of the fossil economy program at the Centre for International Environmental Law, voices concerns about the uncertainties and ecological risks associated with carbon capture technology.

Despite the debate, the inauguration of Mammoth signifies a substantial leap forward in the global fight against climate change. By actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Mammoth offers hope for a more sustainable future, underscoring the importance of innovative solutions in combating the existential threat of climate change.

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