The urgency of the climate crisis requires decisive action to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions plays a central role in this, particularly across sectors like power generation, transportation, construction and manufacturing. Yet, despite significant innovations in this space, reducing emissions isn’t enough. To meet 2050 targets, we also need to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and we can do this through Direct Air Capture. To achieve this, 3M is partnering with Canadian environmental technology company Svante Technologies Inc.
What is Direct Air Capture (DAC)?
While so-called "point source carbon capture" prevents CO2 from entering the atmosphere, Direct Air Capture starts by recapturing CO2 that has already been emitted. During this process, ambient air is drawn in using a large fan and passed through a special apparatus. This apparatus contains solvents, solid sorbents, or other substances that bind CO2 and dissolve and help remove it from the air.
3M and Svante join forces to advance Direct Air Capture
3M and Svante see the greatest potential for Direct Air Capture in Solid Sorbents. They are uniting forces to accelerate the delivery of new solutions to fight climate change and contribute to a low-carbon economy. To do so, they have created Sorbents-On-A-Roll (SOAR), where multiple layers of SOAR are stacked together to form a filter that is part of a larger CO2 removal machine. The filters absorb CO2 and can be heated when their absorption capacity is reached to release the captured CO2. The CO2 can then be stored underground or used for more sustainable production of fuels, construction materials or other products. Critically, the filters are designed for reuse.
With the combination of 3M's manufacturing capabilities and Svante's expertise, industrial-scale carbon capture and removal become possible. The technology has the potential to remove several million tons of CO2 from the air worldwide. By doing this, 3M and Svante are championing materials science-based solutions to achieve net-zero emissions and address global climate change.