‘Orca’: World’s Largest CO2 capturing Plant

  • 11 Sep 2021

The world's largest plant designed to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it into rock started running on 8th September 2021 in Iceland.

  • The plant, named Orca, after the Icelandic word "orka" meaning "energy".
  • Constructed by Switzerland's Climeworks and Iceland's Carbfix, when operating at capacity the plant will draw 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air every year – equivalent to the emissions from about 870 cars.

Working Principle

  • To collect the carbon dioxide, the plant uses fans to draw air into a collector, which has a filter material inside.
  • Once the filter material is filled with CO2, the collector is closed and the temperature is raised to release the CO2 from the material after which the highly concentrated gas can be collected.
  • The CO2 is then mixed with the water before being injected at a depth of 1,000 metres into the nearby basalt rock where it is petrified.
  • Proponents of so called carbon capture and storage (CCS) believe these technologies can become a major tool in the fight against climate change.