Carbon removal player aims for “franchise” model

Direct air capture startup Carbon Engineering and oil giant Occidental Petroleum have a plan they hope will enable the buildout of what’s now nascent and costly tech, Ben writes.

Driving the news: Occidental subsidiary 1PointFive and Carbon Engineering announced the outlines of what its CEO, Daniel Friedmann, calls a “franchise-like model” for systems that directly remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

“Through this process, plant components and equipment will be modularized, mass manufactured and then assembled on-site using an established supply chain of vendors,” the companies said.

Why it matters: Most paths for meeting Paris Agreement goals pair emissions cuts — the main weapon against warning — with tech that sucks up already emitted CO2.

But direct air capture and other approaches are in their very early stages, even as more investment flows into the sector.

Zoom in: 1PointFive and Carbon Engineering are planning their first plant in Texas and hope to have it running in late 2024.

The broad vision of standardized, modular units sees 70-135 plants built worldwide by 2035, each with an annual removal capacity of 1 million metric tons.

Yes, but: Even a buildout at that level underscores the breadth of the climate challenge — and why many removal companies and technologies would be needed.

Current energy-related global CO2 emissions are well over 30 billion metric tons annually.


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