Framed by a backdrop of volcanoes, a semi-circle of gigantic fans in Iceland are sucking in air, super-heating it, then filtering out the carbon dioxide.
This carbon capture and storage facility, named Orca, turned on two weeks ago after more than 18 months of construction. The fans are embedded in shipping container-sized boxes, and once the carbon dioxide is separated, it gets mixed with water then travels through snaking, fat tubes deep underground, where the carbon cools and solidifies.
Through this process, Orca can trap and sequester 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – making it the largest facility of its kind in the world (though there are currently only two running).
Climate scientist Peter Kalmus has done the math: “If it works, in one year it will capture three seconds worth of humanity’s CO2 emissions,” he wrote on Twitter.
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