A new and innovative concept to curb climate change is being designed by Fervo Energy, a company working with geothermal power, which recently announced plans to design and engineer a fully integrated geothermal and direct air capture (DAC) facility. Fervo’s lead counts with the support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
1. DAC process
In a DAC facility, large fans move air over materials that capture carbon dioxide, Fervo Energy explained. The captured carbon dioxide is heated, concentrated, and then, in many instances, pumped underground. However, to operate economically and sustainably, DAC requires a reliable source of carbon-free electricity and heat. According to Fervo, its proposed designs for a combined geothermal and direct air capture facility can provide an innovative solution to these challenges that will lower the cost of carbon removal.
Geothermal can deliver the carbon-free power and heat needed to make DAC a viable means for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.Tim Latimer, CEO of Fervo Energy
“With robust expertise in geosciences and new support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Fervo is well positioned to drive innovation in carbon removal and demonstrate the natural alignment between geothermal and DAC,” said Tim Latimer, CEO of Fervo Energy.
2. Adapting existing innovations
The technology behind Fervo’s initiative is not entirely new. Despite pioneering next-generation geothermal technology, the company said it is working with existing innovations, which has adapted to fit the needs of a fully integrated geothermal and DAC. These include horizontal drilling and distributed fiber optic sensing, to combat climate change by turning reservoirs of hot rock beneath the earth’s surface into economically viable sources of clean energy.
3. Promising solutions
The funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will help Fervo leverage geothermal resources to provide 24/7 carbon-free power and heat to DAC systems and explore geothermal reservoirs’ potential for local subsurface carbon sequestration, the company said.
“Carbon removal technologies are a critical tool for addressing climate change,” said CZI Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Caitlyn Fox.
In order to scale carbon removal, costs need to come down dramatically.Caitlyn Fox, CZI Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
Fervo’s geothermal technology with direct air capture seems to be a possible game-changer bringing exciting opportunities to develop rigorous carbon removal at a lower cost while providing a reliable, abundant, carbon-free source of power and heat.
Despite the promising outcomes, carbon capture critics remain skeptic to innovative ideas, which they claim to divert the actual hard work of combating climate change. Still, while carbon capture alone won’t solve the climate crisis, it’s important to pursue other sustainable ideas and technology to reduce carbon emissions.