Global Thermostat Unveils Its Demonstration Direct Air Capture Plant

Global Thermostat Unveiled Its Demonstration Direct Air Capture Plant - Carbon Herald
Global Thermostat’s direct air capture unit. Credit: Global Thermostat

One of the world’s pioneers in carbon capture development Global Thermostat, announced a new milestone. The company unveiled its commercial-scale demonstration direct air capture plant with a capacity of capturing over 1,000 tons a year. The unit has been operating since the end of 2022.

Global Thermostat also announced Commerce City, north of Denver in Colorado as its new global headquarters in an effort to scale to a gigaton capacity to address meaningfully the access CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. 

Relevant: Interview: Climeworks To Achieve Multi-Megaton Carbon Removal Capacity By 2040

Present at the company’s launch event at its new headquarters were Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, U.S. House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Trisha Miller, Senior Director of the White House Climate Policy Office, and other senior officials.

“Global Thermostat’s innovative technology is exactly the type of approach we sought to support when we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS Act last Congres… With these investments from Washington, Global Thermostat will boost its capacity and expand its workforce in Colorado, all while pioneering cutting-edge Direct Air Capture tools to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is what confronting climate change looks like,” also commented Michael Bennet U.S. Senator for Colorado.

Global Thermostat was founded back in 2006 by Graciela Chichilnisky with the goal of developing and commercializing a technology for the direct capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and other sources.

It is one of the top U.S.-based Direct Air Capture technology companies. According to Bloomberg, however, the company has been behind schedule regarding its progress for a long time and has previously failed to launch several prototypes that were promised. Despite substantial and continuous investments from the industry, Global Thermostat’s achievements failed to match the company’s promises. 

Just last year, it announced it appointed new CEO – industry veteran Paul Nahi to help drive the company on its mission to commercialize and scale its decarbonization technology.

The technology of the company is a patented solid adsorption process that according to Global Thermostat’s announcement, has been rigorously refined and tested over the last 10 years to address the primary technical challenges associated with direct air capture. Those are the ability to process large volumes of air and provide the energy for regeneration as cost-effectively as possible.

The company uses highly efficient industrial fans to blow ordinary air through proprietary contactors that bind to carbon dioxide, which is then separated out with low-temperature heat.

Credit: Olivier Le Moal | Shutterstock

It has operated a Technology Center at this location since 2020, where a team of scientists and engineers have focused on scaling the technology. The company is now taking orders to increase further its capacity.

“Our solution is designed to enable low operating and capital costs along with maximum modularity and flexibility for a broad range of operating conditions… We believe Global Thermostat not only has a fundamentally advantaged solution, it is also one of the most advanced Direct Air Capture companies in the world,” said Nicholas Eisenberger, Global Thermostat’s Head of Market Development, Policy and Engagement.

Relevant: What Is Carbon Capture Technology?

Direct air capture and storage is a critical carbon removal solution that is part of the mix to reduce historic CO2 emissions amounted in the atmosphere. It is important, however, to sift through the best and most developed technologies and teams out there that have the highest chance of scaling direct air capture fast enough to a gigatons capacity. It is also critical that companies are able to prove over time their bold claims of tackling emissions. Actions cannot be delayed and investments need to be directed into the right hands if the world wants to achieve its goal of curbing the climate crisis.

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