Climeworks closes a chapter in early carbon removal tech

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At the base of an Icelandic volcano, Climeworks’ direct air capture plant sucks carbon dioxide from the air and turns it to rock, locking away the main culprit behind global warming. | Photo by HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP via Getty Images

Swiss company Climeworks plans to phase out the first-generation technology that made it a pioneer in the business of carbon removal. The move is part of Climeworks’ pivot away from selling its captured carbon dioxide to companies like Coca-Cola. Instead, Climeworks says it will focus on efforts to store the CO2 underground permanently.

Climeworks became the first company to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and sell it as a product back in 2017. That’s when its direct air capture (DAC) plant called Capricorn opened in Hinwil, Switzerland. Beyond being foundational to Climeworks’ continued growth, Capricorn’s mere existence was a major milestone for the brand-new carbon removal industry. Five years later, Capricorn is essentially…

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