20 May 2022,   15:14
In Switzerland, a giant new machine is sucking carbon directly from the air

The world’s first commercial plant for capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air opened, refueling a debate about whether the technology can truly play a significant role in removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, writes E&E News.

The Climeworks AG facility near Zurich becomes the first ever to capture CO2 at industrial scale from air and sell it directly to a buyer.

Developers say the plant will capture about 900 tons of CO2 annually - or the approximate level released from 200 cars - and pipe the gas to help grow vegetables.

While the amount of CO2 is a small fraction of what firms and climate advocates hope to trap at large fossil fuel plants, Climeworks says its venture is a first step in their goal to capture 1 percent of the world’s global CO2 emissions with similar technology. To do so, there would need to be about 250,000 similar plants, the company says.