In pictures: World’s largest carbon capture plant in action

Billed as 'The next step towards a climate-positive world', the Climeworks Orca carbon capture system starts operating in Iceland.

On 8 September, Swiss company Climeworks began operations of Orca, theworld’s first and largest direct carbon capture and storage plant.

The construction of Orca started in May 2020, and due to its simple modular-based construction, it was possible for Orca to be operational in under 15 months.

Climeworks estimates that Orca will be able to permanently remove 4,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. Once the carbon dioxide is removed from the air, it can be safely stored underground. For this process, Climeworks teamed-up with an Icelandic company calledCarbfix, who specialise in the process of turning carbon dioxide into stone.

The carbon dioxide that Orca captures is mixed with water and is then pumped deep underground. Over the course of a few years, this CO2 reacts with the natural basalt and eventually turns into solid carbonate minerals.

The CEOs of Climeworks are hopeful that the technology will help contribute to ambitious net-zero carbon targets set by the Paris Agreement of 2016.

The Orca facility


Zero waste process

Photo by Arni Saeberg

Dirty air goes in...

Photo by Climeworks

...Clean air comes out

XXX Photo by Climeworks

Big fans

05_Climeworks_Orca Launch_September 2021_Copyright Climeworks

The magic ingredient

Photo by Climeworks

Out of harm's way

Photo by Sandra O Snaebjornsdottir

How the process works:


Orca is go

Photo by Climeworks

Check out more of our galleries:

Up and running

07_Climeworks_Orca Launch_September 2021_Copyright Climeworks

Humble but impressive

A view of the Orca plant in Iceland. Photo by Climeworks

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