World’s largest direct air capture plant goes operational in Iceland

By Elías Thorsson - May 10, 2024
Mammoth, the world’s largest direct air capture and storage plant, is designed for a nameplate capture capacity of up to 36,000 tons of CO₂ per year. (Climeworks)

Climeworks, a pioneering Swiss company in the field of direct air capture and storage (DAC+S), announces the launch of Mammoth, its largest DAC+S facility to date, situated in Iceland. Representing the company’s second commercial endeavor in Iceland, Mammoth dwarfs its predecessor, Orca, by nearly tenfold, Climeworks stated in a press release.

The Mammoth plant is engineered to boast a nameplate capture capacity of up to 36,000 tons of CO₂ annually, achieved through the filtration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its subsequent permanent storage underground. At present, Mammoth has commenced its carbon capture operations, with twelve out of a total of 72 collector containers already operational on site.

This milestone marks another significant step in Climeworks’ ambitious trajectory toward achieving megaton carbon removal capacity by 2030 and gigaton scale by 2050, crucial endeavors in combating global warming.

In addition to its Icelandic ventures, Climeworks is actively pursuing multiple megaton hubs in the United States, leveraging operational insights gleaned from its existing commercial plants in Iceland.

Mammoth’s construction commenced in June 2022, featuring a modular design that facilitates scalability. With completion slated for the course of 2024, the plant is primed to become a cornerstone in the quest for large-scale carbon removal.

Harnessing renewable energy sources to power its direct air capture process, Climeworks partners with ON Power, a leader in geothermal energy in Iceland. Following capture, the CO₂ is transported underground by storage partner Carbfix, where it undergoes a natural process, reacting with basaltic rock to form stone, thus ensuring permanent storage. Rigorous verification and certification processes, overseen by independent third parties, underscore the reliability and efficacy of Climeworks’ carbon capture and storage operations.