Global Thermostat today announced it has commissioned the first containerized T-Series system for Direct Air Capture of carbon dioxide, which is designed to remove from tonnes to tens of tonnes per year from the atmosphere and aimed at smaller commercial and pilot applications.
The T-Series joins Global Thermostat‘s K-Series modules, with a capacity of approximately a kilotonne (one thousand tonnes) of CO2 per year, the first of which has successfully operated since 2022 at the company’s headquarters near Denver, and its M-Series modules, an even larger embodiment that can be grouped together to capture over a megatonne (one million tonnes) of CO2 per year. The design for the latter was recently completed with leading engineering firms, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The first T-Series system was built to supply a project called “Microalgae commodities production with a direct air capture process,” which will demonstrate the continuous feeding of direct-captured CO2 to strains of algae selected to thrive in the project location in Hawaii. The project is supported in part by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, in the Bioenergy Technologies Office (grant DE-EE0009276).
MicroBio Engineering Inc. will deploy this T-Series system in collaboration with Cyanotech Corporation to enhance the production of microalgae biomass for renewable fuels in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This project, also done in collaboration with researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL, Sequim, Washington), was funded by DOE as part of its efforts to advance solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost the production of renewable biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuels.
Dr. John Benemann, CEO of MicroBio Engineering, stated: “We are excited to participate with our partners in this first Direct Air Capture system delivering CO2 to an algae farm, a key requirement for the future development of a large-scale algae industry.”
The T-Series has the advantage of a containerized design on a skid capable of being delivered by road, rail, or ship. Each module is plug-and-play ready, powered by a single electrical feed that can be directly integrated with renewable power sources and operates autonomously to produce high-purity, pressurized CO2.
“Many companies are seeking a rapidly deployable, low-footprint, climate-friendly way of obtaining the carbon dioxide they need,” said Paul Nahi, CEO of Global Thermostat. “Others are interested in piloting a smaller scale Direct Air Capture solution as they plan higher volume deployments in the future,” Nahi added. “The T-Series is for them, and it complements the larger-scale units that we offer for climate-relevant carbon dioxide removal and other large capacity carbon utilization applications that require non-fossil CO2.”
Captured CO2 has many uses across the economy—including as a critical input to fuels, chemicals, food and beverages, and building materials, and to enhance yields from agricultural environments and biological processes, such as in greenhouses and vertical farms, and for microalgae. For example, just ten tonnes of CO2 is enough to carbonate more than 1.4 million 1-liter soda bottles.
Direct Air Capture (DAC) refers to technologies that directly capture CO2 from the atmosphere to help achieve net zero and eventually net negative greenhouse gas emissions, as sources of existing emissions are drawn down. DAC is highly scalable and has many advantages as a Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) solution: it enables permanent sequestration, is directly measurable, and does not interfere with natural systems.
It can be used in combination with underground storage or mineralization to permanently remove past carbon dioxide emissions. Or, the captured carbon can be substituted for fossil-based carbon in critical, everyday products.
According to the latest report by the scientists of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Carbon Dioxide Removal is necessary to achieve net zero CO2 and GHG emissions both globally and nationally, counterbalancing ‘hard-to-abate’ residual emissions. CDR is also an essential element of scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C or below 2°C.”
Global Thermostat’s patented Direct Air Capture solution consists of high-efficiency fans that pull air through ultra-high surface area contactors where the surface geometry and embedded solid sorbent have been custom-designed to optimize the capture of CO2. Low-temperature heat then rapidly releases the CO2 for long-term storage or reuse.
“The T-Series can capture and provide industrial amounts of CO2 for a wide range of applications in a compact, containerized footprint that can fit into your existing site,” said Nahi. “In many smaller installations, there’s a need to make sure every square foot counts. The modular design allows our customers to start small and scale up their systems over time.”
Nahi added, “Today we have a full suite of Direct Air Capture modules for our customers’ diverse needs for on-site generation of CO2 from air, from our new containerized T-Series mobile modules for small-scale applications in the multi-tonnes per year, to our K-Series modules for kilotonne-level needs, and our M-Series for climate-scale projects, for all of which we are seeing growing demand in the market.”