Dublin-based company unveils ‘MechanicalTree’ that captures CO2Leigh Mc Gowranon April 19, 2022 at 10:17 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Dublin-based climate company Carbon Collect has released its first commercial scale ‘MechanicalTree’, which is designed to capture CO2 from the atmosphere.

Carbon Collect said its device is 1,000 times more efficient than a natural tree at removing CO2 from the air. Following a two-year design and engineering program, the company unveiled its MechanicalTree at Arizona State University (ASU) in the US.

The device was made with research from ASU’s Prof Klaus Lackner, who said the MechanicalTree can bring CO2 out of the air to either be buried or used in industrial gas.

Carbon Collect said unlike other direct capture technologies, the mechanical device doesn’t require fans as it uses natural wind to deliver air through the system. The company said this will make it a passive, lower cost way to capture CO2 when commercially viable.

Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree at Arizona State University. Image: Carbon Collect

“We believe we have developed a real and scalable solution to combat the effects of CO2.” Carbon Collect vice chair Reyad Fezzani said. “Our goal now will be to accelerate the global climate effort and to contribute to reversing carbon emissions over the next decade and beyond.”

Carbon Collect said the MechanicalTree at ASU rises to a height of 10 metres to collect carbon from the air and retracts into the base unit when it gives up the CO2 it collected. The company said the captured carbon can be sold for re-use in industries such as food and beverage, agriculture and energy.

The Dublin-based company said it is currently working with the ASU and the US Department of Energy to develop engineering blueprints for carbon farms in the US.

“Our passive process is the evolution of carbon-capture technology, which has the ability to be both economically and technologically viable at scale in a reasonably short time frame,” Carbon Collect CEO Pól Ó Móráin said.

Earlier this month, Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta and McKinsey Sustainability launched an advance market commitment called Frontier to accelerate the development of permanent carbon removal tech.

These companies plan to commit an initial $925m over the next nine years to purchase carbon removal from suppliers developing and scaling new technologies.

In 2020, the EU gave a €1m grant to Ervia, the parent company of Gas Networks Ireland, to support a carbon capture project off the Cork coast.

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