Controlling global warming is one of humanity’s major challenges today. For this, it is necessary to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. One of the alternatives offered by a California-based startup is to use limestone in the process.
- San Francisco-based Heirloom Carbon has signed a deal with Microsoft to help the tech giant meet its zero-emissions goal.
- The startup is a reference to carbon capture technology, one of the central topics of discussion at the United Nations (UN) climate conference COP28, which takes place between November 30 and December 12 in Dubai.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which leads the COP meetings, considers the implementation of carbon capture and storage systems “inevitable” if the goal of limiting global warming to +1.5 °C above previous levels is to be achieved. – Industrial levels.
- Information from UOL.
Heirloom has set a target of removing one billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2035, without giving companies an incentive to continue burning fossil fuels. This would help reduce the 10 to 20 billion tons of carbon that must be removed each year by the end of the century, according to the US National Academy of Sciences.
Heirloom uses limestone, a natural mineral, and we give it superpowers and turn it into a sponge capable of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Then, we compress this sponge and store this CO2 permanently underground.
Noah McQueen is co-founder and head of research at Heirloom Carbon
Direct air capture (DAC) techniques, such as those developed by Heirloom and Swiss pioneer Climworks, differ from systems that capture carbon at a source (CCS) such as industrial chimneys.
Limestone was chosen because of its abundant availability. Also, the process requires no storage space. Only the United States has enough to save all the emissions since the industrial revolution, the agency said.
One of the focal points of the startup’s policy is to comply with strict obligations such as not reselling CO2 to companies that ultimately return it to the atmosphere.
The agency also criticizes so-called “greenwashing” or “green makeup,” whereby some industries — the oil and gas lobby, in particular — use vague promises of carbon removal “as a way to distract us.”
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