In the beginning of October, in the small Italian town of Troia, a pilot plant started sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere and turning it into carbon-neutral fuel. In Squamish, Canada, another pilot plant is doing the same thing. In Switzerland, a third plant is capturing CO2 to sell to a nearby greenhouse . Run by two startups at the vanguard of the “direct air capture” industry, the plants use technology that can also be used for negative emissions–capturing carbon from the air to bury underground–something that the world will have to do at a large scale to avoid the worst global warming . ( Climeworks , one of the startups, is already working in Iceland to capture CO2 that is injected underground and turned into stone.) But they also point to another opportunity. Because the level of atmospheric CO2 is equally high everywhere, capturing it and turning it into products can potentially bring back jobs to areas that have lost other industry. [Photo: Carbon Engineering] “The beauty of direct air capture is you can build it really anywhere,” says Louise Charles, a senior representative for Climeworks, the company running the pilot plant in Italy and commercial plant in […]

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