These companies are sucking carbon from the atmosphere

Carbon capture is becoming increasingly popular among investors, and these companies are at the forefront.

Source: These companies are sucking carbon from the atmosphere

I’m currently not completely convinced that these “direct air capture” systems that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are very practical. Technically they can certainly work, but the capital and operating costs are probably substantial, compared to the amount of CO2 you recover. However, if they do become widespread (as the linked article suggests), that will keep a lot of chemical engineers busy. And mechanical and electrical engineers too! And civil engineers during the construction phase.

2 thoughts on “These companies are sucking carbon from the atmosphere

  1. Dear Prof. Anderson, Thanks for sharing great information.

    Besides economic viability issues DAC has serious philosophical issues due to their ultimate (opposite) impact on climate actions. Such masking industries may have inintended consequences, as it will encourage greenwashing of fossil fuel production. Oil and gas drilling will not only prolong, it may further expand. Oil wells will continue to damage aquifers and riverine ecosystems. Great biodiversity and marine ecology loss will accelerate.  Students all over the world today are leading the environmental charge, and as you know, are already avoiding to join oil and gas industries for work. So much so that many universities are also terminating its oil and gas engineering courses. I wish that we can raise the ability of every “educated” young engineer graduating today, starting of course from elementary and high school kids, to critically examine the secondary impact of even cleantech solutions, not just the dirty energy businesses.  Because anything that may be leveraged and exploited by dirty energy businesses, will be. As the parent of a UW student, I believe your blog is a great opportunity to fill this gap. Thanks again. Best Regards, Sanjeev Arya  Coquitlam, BC

    • Yes those are good points and considerations. Our curriculum includes various aspects of sustainability analysis. But often the issues are at a higher level than the specific project engineering work. Many of these bigger issues require provincial/national/international policy-making and enforcement to drive the right decisions at the project engineering level. However, engineers should certainly be aware of these things and work towards good sustainable solutions.


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