Thursday, September 7, 2023

"Microsoft just signed a giant carbon removal deal to sponge up CO2 using limestone"

From Seattle's own, GeekWire (also serving Redmond) September 7:

Microsoft announced that it is purchasing 315,000 metric tons of carbon removal over a multi-year period from climate tech startup Heirloom Carbon, one of the biggest deals of its kind to date.

The agreement could be worth $200 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

San Francisco-based Heirloom is harnessing a geologic approach to catching and holding carbon dioxide. Limestone naturally binds to carbon, but Heirloom’s technology dramatically speeds up the process, cutting it from years to days. The startup operates the only U.S. facility permanently capturing carbon.

Even more important than the volume of carbon to be removed is the deal’s ability to unlock additional funding and investments to grow Heirloom’s business and the sector more broadly.

“Microsoft’s agreement with Heirloom is another important step in helping build the market for high-quality carbon removal and supports our path to become carbon negative by 2030,” said Brian Marrs, Microsoft’s senior director of energy and carbon, in a statement.

Microsoft previously invested in Heirloom through its $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund. The new deal represents a financially empowering “bankable agreement,” said Heirloom CEO Shashank Samala....


They may have solved the problem noted in the intro to "Carbon Credits: Bill Gates And The Plan To Thin Forests In An Area The Size Of Nevada"

As has been pointed out for years by ourselves and others, contra the physical or chemical approaches where the capture is the bottleneck, the carbon capture is easy, the  sequestration bit is the hard part of any plant-based carbon removal effort....

I too have heard the siren song of  CaCO₃:

May 2007
... Right now I'm looking at calcium carbonate. Literally. Got a hunk of limestone. CaCO3. That's sequestered carbon, right?. Hmmm.
Make a green pitch, wrap it in recycled fiberboard; et voila! Return of the Pet Rock, eco-version! And seashells, same stuff, calcite. There's the hook! Mom, you're going to Miami Beach. 

November 2007: "Can baking soda curb global warming?":

I have a fascination with calcium carbonate. But, being flexible, I am willing to consider the bicarbonate of various metals.
Some scientists have proposed compressing carbon dioxide and sticking it in underground caves as a way to cut down on greenhouse gases. Joe David Jones wants to make baking soda out of it.
Jones, the founder and CEO of Skyonic, has come up with an industrial process called SkyMine that captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory.
"It is cleaner than food-grade (baking soda)," he said.
The system also removes 97 percent of the heavy metals, as well as most of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds, Jones said.

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