By Anders Lorenzen
The US fossil fuel giant Chevron has announced its intent to tackle climate change, or at least to support a technology that removes CO2 from the atmosphere.
Carbon Engineering, a Canadian company which since 2015 has successfully captured CO2 from the atmosphere through the direct air capture technology (DAC), has said it has received an undisclosed sum of investment from Chevron and Occidental Petroleum.
Carbon Engineering, founded in 2009, has developed the technology which captures CO2 directly from the atmosphere and then turns it into low-carbon fuels to be used for transport and enhanced oil recovery. The technology converting the captured CO2 into fuels is called Air to Fuels.
The process which combines CO2 from DAC with clean hydrogen from water electrolysis, provides a second pathway to reducing transportation emissions by synthesizing ultra-low carbon intensity liquid fuels. The company says their products are fully compatible with existing cars, trucks, ships and planes, allowing existing vehicles without modification to reduce dramatically their carbon emissions.
These new investments are crucial for the company. It will help them to realise an investment target of $60 million, and thereby aid the commercialisation of the product and accelerate the adoption of the DAC technology.
The Chief Executive of the company, Steve Oldham, believes their technology could play a major role in answering the global demand for reducing CO2 emissions.
Barbara J. Burger, President of Chevron Technology Ventures, explained the reason for making the investment, “At the core of what we do is to develop the energy that powers the world forward, which means providing affordable and reliable energy while reducing carbon emissions.”
Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest climate report. The report concluded that everything must be done to keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees C. Most experts agree that with temperatures having already exceeded the 1-degree threshold, it is no longer enough to reduce emissions through low-carbon technologies. We must actually capture some of the CO2 already released.