The world’s largest plant that sucks carbon dioxide directly from the air and deposits it underground started operating on Wednesday last week, the company behind the nascent green technology said.
Swiss start-up Climeworks AG, which specializes in capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air, has partnered with Icelandic carbon storage firm Carbfix to develop a plant that sucks out up to 4,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s the equivalent of the annual emissions from about 790 cars. Last year, global CO2 emissions totaled 31.5 billion tonnes, according to the International Energy Agency.
Direct air capture is one of the few technologies extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and it is viewed by scientists as vital to limit global warming, blamed for causing more heatwaves, wildfires, floods and rising sea levels.
Photo: Bloomberg 照片：彭博社
The Orca plant, a reference to the Icelandic word for energy, consists of eight large containers similar in looks to those used in the shipping industry, which employ high-tech filters and fans to extract carbon dioxide. The isolated carbon is then mixed with water and pumped deep underground, where it slowly turns into rock. Both technologies are powered by renewable energy sourced from a nearby geothermal power plant.
Direct air capture is still a fledgling and costly technology, but developers hope to drive down prices by scaling up as more companies and consumers look to reduce their carbon footprint.
There are currently 15 direct air capture plants operating worldwide, capturing more than 9,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, according to the IEA. US oil firm Occidental is currently developing the largest direct-air-capture facility, to pull 1 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide from the open air near some of its Texas oilfields.
With the Mid-Autumn Festival nearly upon us, bakery shelves are heaving with a vast array of appetizing mooncakes in a mind-boggling variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. For many Taiwanese gourmands, the venerable egg yolk pastry is a special favorite. However, in the past some unscrupulous businesses were discovered to have added the harmful industrial dye Sudan Red G to their egg yolk pastries to give the salty egg yolks a rosy-red luster. Sudan Red G was cassified as a toxic chemical by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in July 2018. The administration says it has been carrying out inspections
Facebook has kept internal research secret for two years that suggests its Instagram app makes body image issues worse for teenage girls, according to a leak from the tech firm. Since at least 2019, staff at the company have been studying the impact of their product on its younger users’ states of mind. Their research has repeatedly found that it is harmful for a large proportion, and particularly teenage girls. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said a slide from one internal presentation in 2019, seen by the Wall Street Journal. Comprised of findings from focus groups,
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