280 Earth’s First Direct Air Capture Plant Starts Operation, Raises $50 Million

280 Earth's First Direct Air Capture Plant Starts Operation - Carbon Herald

280 Earth, Inc. – a direct air capture technology developer, announced on May 20th it has completed construction and started operating its first direct air capture (DAC) facility that removes carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, mitigating climate change. The captured CO2 can be permanently sequestered underground or used as a feedstock for industrial uses such as synthetic fuels, carbon negative concrete, or food production.

The first DAC plant in Oregon begins CO2 removal

The facility of 280 Earth provides a commercial demonstration of several years of research and development by X, The Moonshot Factory, Alphabet’s innovation lab to grow and commercialize the unique, low-cost DAC technology. The overall process and purpose of DAC is to achieve carbon dioxide removal and be a “negative emissions technology.” To reach net zero by 2050, the International Energy Agency believes we’ll need to scale DAC to capture more than 980 megatons of carbon dioxide a year by 2050.

The first phase of the commercial demonstration facility is designed to capture up to 500 tonnes per year of CO2, as well as water, from ambient air. The captured CO2 will be liquified and sequestered off-site or used in various industrial processes, while the related water can be used for cooling or other end uses. The facility is extensively instrumented to validate scale up plans for 280 Earth’s technology as it progresses to a 5,000 tonne per year module.

Relevant: 280 Earth Plans To Bring Atmospheric CO2 Levels Back To 280 Parts Per Million

Located in The Dalles, Oregon, 280 Earth’s direct air capture installation maximizes environmental benefits by using electricity with very low carbon content, principally from hydropower on the local grid. Additionally, 280 Earth’s low-temperature desorption process can minimize energy consumption by utilizing waste heat from nearby third-party industrial processes. Equipment in the facility is largely manufactured by American-based vendors and is being assembled with significant union labor content.

Credit: 280 Earth

“Our first DAC project deploys a very energy efficient process to capture CO2 directly from the air. As a result, our net carbon benefit will be among the best in this rapidly developing industry,” said Jacques Gagne, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of 280 Earth who invented the technology along with his team.

$50 Million Series B Round

Funding 280 Earth’s scale-up of direct air capture technology is led by a highly skilled investor team including Builders VC, Gideon Yu, and Alphabet, Inc. The company announced it has officially filled and closed a $50 Million Series B Round of investment.

“280 Earth’s technology will be a key contributor to the portfolio of solutions necessary to reduce CO2 in our atmosphere and it’s a strategic advantage to have the financial support and insight of Builders VC and other thoughtful investors to bring this earth changing technology to its commercial stage,” said John Pimentel, chief executive officer of 280 Earth. “We also could not succeed without our local partners including the Port of The Dalles, Wasco County, The City of The Dalles, and the State of Oregon to collaborate in bringing this important project to life.”

Relevant: Alphabet, Stripe And Others To Buy $925M Of Carbon Offsets

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