Scientists Fire Up World’s Biggest Carbon Capture Machine

It can remove the emissions from 870 cars at full power.
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Engineers from Iceland set up the largest carbon capture system in the world on Wednesday.

According to Agence France Presse, the plant is named Orca after Orka, an Icelandic word that means energy. It will remove approximately 4,400 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year when it is fully operational. This is equivalent to the emission of 870 cars. Although Orca won't solve the climate crisis by itself, it is an exciting step in the right direction.

Treasures Buried

According to AFP, Orca is a series of shipping container-sized units that sucking up the air around them. Carbon dioxide is trapped in the air as it passes through and sticks to large filters which essentially remove it from the atmosphere.

After the filters have been filled, the containers are sealed to allow the greenhouse gases to be concentrated and mixed with water. Then, they can be kept underground for about half a mile. The Orca team claims that it will be compressed into rock and kept from rising back into the atmosphere.

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Is it enough?

Carbon capture critics have long maintained that it is too costly and difficult to implement on a large scale. They also argue that decarbonization efforts could be delayed by the possibility of removing some carbon from the atmosphere.

There won't be a single solution to the climate change crisis that is sweeping the globe. It appears more likely that we will have to do our part to reduce the environmental damage that we've done. Orca might be able help us with that. Experts have called for increased funding for carbon capture since years. This new facility may help us figure out how to do it.

READ MORE: The world's largest machine for capturing carbon from the air was turned on in Iceland [Agence France-Presse]

More about carbon capture: Scientists call for a massive global network of carbon capture plants

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