Climeworks

Climeworks is an ETH Zurich spin-off company, founded in 2009 by the German mechanical engineering students Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher. It develops a world prototpye carbon dioxide removal system, which filters CO2 directly from the atmosphere, and converts it to a useful product, such as fuel or fertiliser.

Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas, and therefore responsible for more than 70% of the global warming being experienced. It is produced by natural processes, but an ever larger amount is being released into the atmosphere by human activities, such as industry, energy generation, fossil fuels, agriculture and land use.

The concept behind Climeworks direct air capture system is to develop a commercial scale CO2 filter which will benefit the environment while producing useful carbon-neutral products, such as synthetic fuel, manufacturing materials, and fertiliser. It is one of several European projects, but is the most advanced towards a fully commercial plant.

In Iceland, Climeworks is running a demonstration project as part of the Horizon 2020 research project CarbFix2, the CO2 is filtered from the air and stored underground as carbonate rock.

The self-declared aim of removing 1% of global CO2 would require 250,000 plants.

The headquarters is in Zurich-Oerlikon, and a subsidiary is located in Cologne.