An American company has announced that its recently launched direct air capture plant near San Francisco will be capable of pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and storing it safely underground on a commercial basis.
Although dozens of carbon capture and storage plants have been operating around the world for years, most of them are aimed at capturing and storing new emissions generated as a result of other polluting processes like coal mining.
Meanwhile, direct air capture sucks out ambient carbon from the air without any other industrial process alongside it. The facility located in Tracy, California, is not large and is capable of capturing only 1,000 tons of CO2 from the air per year. At the same time, the plan is to remove one million tons of CO2 per year in the future.
Critics claim that those selling carbon credits are giving businesses a “license to pollute,” because they are offsetting their emissions by paying someone else to clean up the atmosphere.
Nevertheless, the technology is a step forward compared to traditional carbon capture schemes.