Australian renewable energy company Southern Green Gas, which has been involved in various net-zero endeavors, has announced its vision to place millions of modular direct air carbon capture (DAC) systems on the country’s vast non-arable land.
The startup’s idea is to use the sunlight that is abundant in this part of the world to power the DAC systems while at the same time making use of land that is not used for agriculture.
As per this vision, the total amount of carbon dioxide captured by these systems may be eight hundred times greater than the amount emitted by the country of Australia per year.
Solar Powered Direct Air Carbon Capture
In addition to reducing the amount of CO2 emitted into the air, direct air capture systems are especially interesting due to their ability to remove emissions that are already in the atmosphere. And that, in turn, holds great promise for the sustainability of sectors like aviation that are notoriously difficult to decarbonize.
This is why direct air capture technology has been deemed an essential means of combating climate change by the IPCC and why more and more companies are trying to streamline and commercialize this technology.
The CO2 captured by the future Southern Green Gas systems is to be stored permanently underground. And according to managing director, Rohan Gillespie, there are three ways in which this can be done.
One is into depleted gas or oil reservoirs, in which the carbon dioxide is sealed in the rock pores. Another is also sealing the captured CO2 in rock pores but in deep non-oil or gas-bearing formations. And the third is in basalts, where the CO2 becomes involved in a process known as carbon mineralization, which essentially turns it into carbonate rock.
The third approach is also on the basis of what is currently the world’s largest DAC plant that is operated by Climeworks and is set to capture as much as 4,000 tons of carbon annually.
And with Australia’s vast landscape and high solar intensity, Southern Green Gas believes there is potential in it to capture over 400 billion tons of emissions every year.