Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, Rusheen Capital Management create company to deploy Carbon Engineering’s direct air capture technology
Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC, a subsidiary of Occidental, and Rusheen Capital Management, a private equity firm, have formed a development company, 1PointFive, to finance and to deploy Carbon Engineering’s large-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology.
Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology has four major elements. The process starts with an air contactor, which is a large structure modeled off industrial cooling towers. A giant fan pulls air into this structure, where it passes over thin plastic surfaces that have potassium hydroxide solution flowing over them. This non-toxic solution chemically binds with the CO2 molecules, removing them from the air and trapping them in the liquid solution as a carbonate salt.
The CO2 contained in this carbonate solution is then put through a series of chemical processes to increase its concentration, purify and compress it, so it can be delivered in gas form ready for use or storage. This involves separating the salt out from solution into small pellets in a structure called a pellet reactor. These pellets are then heated in the third step, a calciner, in order to release the CO2 in pure gas form. This step also leaves behind processed pellets that are hydrated in a slaker and recycled back within the system to reproduce the original capture chemical.
1PointFive and Carbon Engineering signed a licensing agreement enabling the commercial development of the world’s largest DAC facility, a first step toward their aspiration to deliver this technology on an industrial scale throughout the United States.
1PointFive’s mission is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere using Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology. This technology provides a pathway to bolster Paris Agreement-aligned efforts aimed at limiting increases in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report indicating that in addition to significant emissions reductions, removing atmospheric CO2 is necessary to attain the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.
The formation of 1PointFive is a significant catalyst that will advance our plans to build the world’s largest-scale DAC facility to remove substantial volumes of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere. Occidental has over 40 years of carbon dioxide management experience, and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures is applying our technical ingenuity and engineering skill to help make large-scale DAC facilities a reality. This is an important step toward realizing our vision for a new, sustainable low-carbon economy, and we are dedicated to working with Rusheen and Carbon Engineering to ensure this critical technology becomes a global emissions reduction solution.—Richard Jackson, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures President and Chairman of 1PointFive
As announced in May 2019, the engineering and design for the first facility to be built through this agreement is already underway. Today, the companies released a first look at the design of the plant which, when operational, will be the largest DAC plant in the world, capturing up to one million metric tons of atmospheric CO2 annually. Currently, the world’s largest individual DAC facilities have the capacity to capture several thousand tons of CO2 per year.
The facility will be located in the Permian Basin with a land footprint of approximately 100 acres. More than 25,000 hours of Carbon Engineering, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, and contractor time has been completed on the design and development work so far. The final Front-End Engineering Design for the facility is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2021 with construction expected to start in 2022.
The CO2 captured at the facility will be permanently, safely and securely stored deep underground in geological formations by Occidental. It will be used in lower-carbon oil production, which permanently stores CO2 as part of the process, and for geologic sequestration to deliver permanent carbon removal, a solution to counteract hard-to-eliminate emissions and help businesses achieve their net zero targets. With DAC, atmospheric CO2 can also be used as a feedstock to create low-carbon products such as plastics and concrete.
The Carbon Engineering business model is to license our technology to developers around the world to enable rapid and widespread global deployment of DAC technology. This partnership marks Carbon Engineering’s first licensing agreement in the US and is a critical next step in the commercialization of DAC technology. It will prove the technology at large, climate-relevant scale, validate the cost, and demonstrate that DAC is now a feasible, available and affordable tool that can be added to the global climate toolkit. It will also allow Carbon Engineering to grow and meet the increasing demand for carbon removal from the private and public sectors. We are looking to replicate this licensing model in other markets around the world so we can deploy DAC as quickly and broadly as possible, and start to make a meaningful impact on the huge climate challenge.—Steve Oldham, Carbon Engineering’s CEO
The agreement between 1PointFive and Carbon Engineering, as well as the partnership’s first commercial facility, is enabled by effective market-based policies in the US, such as the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Federal 45Q tax credit. The continuity and growth of practical carbon-related policies will continue to encourage the establishment of a widespread DAC industry.