A filtering device from Carbyon to combat global warming

The team at Carbyon celebrates the commissioning of the test rig that can filter CO2 from the air (photo: Carbyon).

Extracting CO2 efficiently from the air to combat global warming: was the big challenge for entrepreneur Hans de Neve, owner of the Eindhoven-based company Carbyon.

Investment from Elon Musk

It’s impossible, he was told. Too expensive and impossible to roll out on a large scale. But that only motivated him. A boost of a million dollars from Elon Musk has now opened doors for his company worldwide, writes Omroep Brabant.

CO2 is fished out of thin air

Successfully Carbyon at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven has set up a test rig that the world is, in his words, “waiting for”. De Neve’s idea is a filter to which CO2 sticks while the remaining air blows through it. If the layer to which the CO2 sticks is then heated after which, the CO2 is released. This can be stored. So this is how it is fished out of the air.

Hope to reduce global warming

“On average, we emit about ten thousand kilos, ten tonnes, of CO2 per person per year,” says De Neve. “With our test setup, we can filter two thousand kilos of CO2 from the outside air per year,” he calculates. With more than 20 colleagues, De Neve is now busy improving the technology further. By next year, they hope to have a test setup that can remove one hundred to two hundred tonnes of CO2 from the air each year.

A solution that extracts CO2 from the air is badly needed. Certainly as important as ensuring that no extra CO2 ends up in the air, as many sustainable measures aim to do, agrees De Neve. “Of course, I advocate behavioural change, but I think it is risky to focus on that alone to solve the climate problem,” he explains. “Therefore, in my view, we need to play it safe and develop technologies to remove the CO2 we have been emitting for the past hundred to hundred and fifty years.”

Winner of the XPRIZE competition

Last year, Carbyon won a million dollars in the XPRIZE competition held by Tesla boss Elon Musk. That certainly backed it up. “It has opened doors for us also in the United States. It is nice because the more people are involved in this, and the more research is done on getting CO2 out of the air, the better for all of us,” he says.

The XPRIZE competition also has a “mega bonus” attached to it. For instance, Musk has promised $50 million to the company that manages to develop a machine that can remove a thousand tonnes of CO2 from the air on an annual basis by 2025. “For us, that 2025 deadline very likely comes too soon,” says De Neve. “And I understand from colleagues that this is true for many more companies. We are therefore hoping for some postponement of that deadline.”

Filter units powered by green energy

His ‘Carbyon solution’ could be widely deployed commercially as early as 2030, the entrepreneur expects. But he does not think we will see these kinds of filter installations everywhere in Brabant by then. Initially, he says, the installations will be placed in places where solar and wind energy are cheap. After all, the filter units are powered by green electricity. Somewhat remote areas are, therefore, more obvious than Brabant, according to De Neve. Think Iceland, for instance. In the Netherlands, he initially sees opportunities for this type of installation in the North Sea.

Source: Omroepbrabant.nl

Translated by: Anitha Sevugan


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