We are developing a technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air

The challenge

To capture carbon dioxide directly from air in a cost-effective way

Based on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to achieve a net zero emission future, the world needs to remove CO2 from the atmosphere at a large scale.

The Ambient CO₂ Harvester removes carbon dioxide from the air.

Our response

The Ambient CO₂ Harvester

We are developing a technology to remove carbon dioxide CO2 directly from the air in an efficient and cost effective way. The technology is based on the standard process principals used in the conventional amine-based carbon dioxide capture.

This system is called the Ambient CO2 Harvester. It has the potential to capture millions of tonnes of CO2 from atmosphere annually. This carbon dioxide can be used as feedstock in beverage industry, greenhouses and fuels synthesis or/and can be stored permanently. The technology also has the potential to be deployed at different scales.

We have been developing this technology using innovative ideas and research in three areas:

  • Formulation and selection of suitable liquid absorbents
  • Development of a cost effective absorber
  • Design and development of an energy efficient process for the regeneration of absorption liquid

The Ambient CO2 Harvester

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo and text appears: The Ambient CO2 Harvester]

[Image changes to show Dr Ali Kiani talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a city with chimneys pumping smoke into the air and text appears: Dr Ali Kiani, Research Scientist]

Dr Ali Kiani: To battle climate change many countries including Australia have committed to reach a net zero emission of greenhouse gases by year 2050 but with the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere this is not possible unless we remove CO2 from air.

[Image changes to show Ali talking to the camera again]

For doing that we need innovative technology.

[Music plays and the image changes to show a view of the CSIRO Energy Centre]

[Images move through of Ali and a colleague looking at the Ambient CO2 Harvester and the camera pans down the equipment from the top to the bottom]

Here at CSIRO we have developed a liquid based system to capture CO2 directly from air in a very cost-effective way.

[Image shows the camera pans down the equipment again while Ali and a colleague watch]

This system is called the Ambient CO2 Harvester.

[Music plays and the images move through to show Ali talking to the camera, Ali working on a computer, Ali turning a knob on the machine, and then close views of the machine]

It’s based on the standard process principle and concepts in which CO2 is absorbed in an absorber at the ambient temperature and boiled off in a desorber.

[Images move through of the computer screen, and then a view looking up at the top of the equipment]

The captured CO2 can be used or stored permanently.

[Music plays and the camera pans down to show Ali and a colleague looking up at the machine and then the image changes to show Ali and the colleague climbing up stairs to the top of the machine]

[Images move through of Ali and a colleague looking at display screens at the top of the machine and then the image changes to show a graph on the computer screen]

We have found that the cost of capturing CO2 using this technology can be significantly reduced by some process innovation.

[Image changes to show Ali talking to the camera and then the image changes to show an aerial view looking down on the Newcastle site showing banks of solar panels]

Also this technology can be easily powered or integrated to renewable energy like what we have here at Newcastle site.

[Camera pans over the site and then the images move through to show Ali and a colleague looking at the equipment, a close view of the equipment and then Ali talking to the camera again]

In order to convince the potential clients about the feasibility of this system, we need to demonstrate that the Ambient CO2 harvester can capture and produce CO2 efficiently and continuous.

[Music plays and the image changes to show Ali and a colleague climbing stairs to the top of the machine again]

[Images move through of a close view of Ali and the colleague looking at a control panel on the machine and the camera zooms in on the control panel and then on Ali and his colleague]

There is a huge potential for the New South Wales and Australian manufacturing industries to use and produce this system.

[Images move through to show Ali and his colleague talking and looking at the machine, a graph on the computer screen, Ali and his colleague looking up, and the camera panning down the machine]

Also, this technology has clear environmental and social benefits reducing the emissions and creating potentially a lot of jobs in regional Australia and New South Wales.

[Image changes to show Ali talking to the camera again]

We are truly excited to develop this groundbreaking technology further here at CSIRO.

[Music plays and text appears: Australia’s National Science Agency]

The Ambient CO₂ Harvester :  Transcript

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