Wyoming Will Soon Be Home To The World’s Largest Carbon Removal Facility

from Fast Company

In rural Wyoming, a sprawling field will soon be filled with dozens of shipping container-sized boxes that can pull CO2 from the atmosphere to help combat climate change. The captured CO2, compressed into a liquid, will travel through pipelines into nearby wells that are drilled thousands of feet underground, storing it permanently. Everything will run on clean energy.

The first units in the system, called Project Bison, will be running by the end of next year. By 2030, as it scales up, the project plans to capture five million metric tons of CO2 a year, or roughly the equivalent emissions from driving a million gas-powered cars for a year. The “carbon removal” service will be sold to customers like corporations that want to offset their emissions. It’s the largest single project of its kind, so far, that’s planned anywhere in the world.

More here.

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13 Comments

  1. The ecological catastrophe is largely undervalued. Many of us including governments of major economically powerful countries are resistant to face the actual data that proves that our entire planet is slowly collapsing. Instead of implementing and supporting change, we tend to assume that it is someone else’s responsibility to “fix nature.” Countries like China, the US, and India which are the largest polluters on our planet, oftentimes fail to comply with Paris environmental agreements and don’t consider the dangers of pollution as seriously as some other countries. Due to the fact that different nations implement different policies in regard to environmental regulations, it is hard to fight the environmental crisis as a united front. When one part of the world does everything it can do to reduce the ecological footprint by advancing concepts of clean energy and recycling, the other part still relies on coal or even wood as sources of energy. The disparity in efforts of different nations in fighting the ecological crisis yields low results of efficiency.
    The Executive director of the European Environment Agency has raised his concerns about climate change. He said that the world’s environment is at the tipping point and that only strict and immediate reduction of pollution would help the planet survive. The evidence of climate change and the negative impacts of pollution can be seen right at this moment. According to the BBC, Europe is currently experiencing the worst drought in at least 500 years. Similarly to Europe, China and India are experiencing the hottest month in the last 100 years. Furthermore, a devastating flood in Pakistan has already left 33 million people with no home and killed 1,700 people including children. The sad reality is that all of the following events have occurred in the past 3 months. Every single year, we become the observers of the worst climate cataclysms affecting the lives of millions of people. Without a combined effort of the entire world community, it will be hard to majorly reduce our environmental footprint.
    The new concept of implementing carbon removal facilities is an appealing invention that will help us pull carbon dioxide straight from the atmosphere. At the same time, however, it will take decades to build a sufficient amount of carbon removal stations that will be able to majorly impact the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While inventions such as a carbon removal station are efficient reducers of CO2 gas emissions, they are not sufficient enough to change the whole scope of the environmental crisis. It takes the efforts of the entire planet to cooperate together in reducing the ecological footprint. It is no longer the sole responsibility of our governments to implement environmental regulations and changes, it is our responsibility too to produce less carbon footprint. It will be possible to overcome the economic crisis only when we will start working together to tackle one ecological problem after another.

    Work Cited

    emma_newburger. (2022, August 23). Europe is experiencing its worst drought in at least 500 Years. CNBC. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/23/europe-drought-worst-in-at-least-500-years-eu-report.html#:~:text=Europe%20is%20experiencing%20its%20worst%20drought%20in%20at%20least%20500%20years,-Published%20Tue%2C%20Aug&text=WATCH%20LIVE-,Europe%20is%20experiencing%20its%20worst%20drought%20in%20at%20least%20500,European%20Union's%20Joint%20Research%20Center.
    Europe’s state of the environment 2020: Change of direction urgently needed to face climate change challenges, reverse degradation and ensure future prosperity. European Environment Agency. (2021, November 17). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/soer2020-europes-environment-state-and-outlook-report
    Pumza Fihlani in Islamabad & Simon Fraser in London. (2022, September 7). Pakistan floods: Biggest Lake subsides amid race to help victims. BBC News. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62811704
    Team, T. V. J. (2022, August 24). What China’s worst drought on record looks like. BBC News. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-62644870

  2. Apocalyptic climate change predictions continue to plague international media, as previous daunting predictions for the future, seem to be occurring now. In the US alone, record-breaking severe drought, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes have massacred numerous states in the past decade, largely rooted in the changing climate. These events have pushed politicians and citizens alike to call for swift action. The US in recent weeks has implemented additional investments towards climate change solutions to combat its effects and to prepare for the future through the Inflation Reduction Act. One of the direst issues at stake for the nation, relates to how to efficiently and properly tackle the greenhouse effect. Companies such as CarbonCapture have developed the technology to absorb and liquefy CO2 from the atmosphere, storing the liquid in wells deep within the ground. However, is such a solution actually sustainable, and how can governments enforce ethical use?
    The IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, believes such technology is absolutely necessary to prevent climate catastrophe and desires to see such projects expand onto a wider scale. Today, the cost of utilizing the CarbonCapture costs upwards of $600-700 per ton of carbon emissions. Despite plans for the price to drop, the rate is not economically sound for the scale needed to create an impact. In order to make substantial and effective change in an effort to combat climate change, states across the globe must not only adopt carbon removal services but should also enact carbon taxes in companionship with them.
    These carbon-capturing projects provide innovative and quick solutions to the problem, yet they only serve as a band-aid if enacted alone. Governments and Corporations should prioritize investing and utilizing carbon capturing services, however, ethically. If corporations, notorious for astronomical carbon emissions, utilize carbon removal services, those services cannot become a ploy in a greenwashing scheme. Consumers have already been brutalized by marketing campaigns such as “Beyond Petroleum ” from BP, ExxonMobil’s ‘clean up efforts’, Starbucks lids, etc and this cannot be another. Corporations should be legally bound to employ or invest in such technologies, while the government should enact a carbon tax. Corporations must be obliged to invest in similar projects while also complying with tax. These investment and taxation goals should also have a penalization system to enforce that companies comply. Corporations should not be enticed to adopt carbon removal services to solely satisfy consumers, but should actually partake in planning for a cleaner future, as they contribute the most to this problem.
    Overall, it is exciting to see the new advancements in technology in an effort to combat climate change. It would be interesting to see how these technologies may be harvested to cater to cities, how they could be mobilized, and to what scale they can be efficiently achieved in the future. It would also be exciting to see whether the technology can, or will be equipped in the future, to absorb other natural gasses such as Methane. As industries such as fossil fuel extraction and coal continue to deplete in the US, states across the nation should be quick to create new jobs within sustainable infrastructures, such as CarbonCapture, investing in their futures.

  3. While there still are a numerous amount of people in the world who don’t believe in climate change, it is a serious concern for Earth’s population and does not get as much attention as it should. With an overabundance of carbon, the earth is slowly getting hotter due to carbon being able to trap heat. What Project Bison is attempting to do is set up underground pipelines which will vacuum the carbon dioxide into the ground. This will be offered to companies who would like to cut down on their emissions. I believe this is an extremely innovative project which has the possibility to prolong Earth’s lifespan. As we see now there are major events happening due to climate change which aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Currently in Thailand, citizens are experiencing floods of up to three feet, and these floods are affecting two-thirds of the communities there. This flooding has been spread out all over Thailand due to the drastic weather changes. Not enough people are talking about the evident danger of climate change, and it is a topic which is being looked over. The next twenty years are not a certainty for us, so for these landmines to be installed to attack climate change is a true blessing for the entire population.

  4. Over the past few decades, we as a society have collectively decided to avoid the problem of climate change. Most people either say that climate change does not exist or is at least not a big issue that needs to be addressed. Others, including most politicians and large corporations, have conceded that climate change is an immediate danger to society, but only give out half hearted solutions to the issue. This is to instead give the appearance of caring for the environment while still not having to put forth much actual effort and resources needed to effectively combat climate change. The issue is however, because fixes like mechanical carbon removal are so expensive at the moment, it needs the support of large corporations and the government to make any kind of meaningful impact. Corporations and the government are the only groups that have the kind of money and power to support these programs long term. There needs to be governmental program that gives economic support to growing and improving these machines to make them more cost effective and therefore more appealing to investors. Obviously, mechanical carbon removal will not be the only thing needed to battle climate change. However, it does seem as if this project could provide a huge impact on the environment and could lead to many new advancements and as the article suggests, these processes will only become more efficient over the coming years. I still believe that we should be funding environmental scientists to develop new processes that combat climate change more effectively. While programs like this are a positive sign of changing attitudes, there is still a long way to go before a majority takes the issue of climate change seriously. As soon as we as society stop saying “climate change is an issue” and instead take action with defined steps to combat climate change, then we may be able to reverse some of the damage we have caused over the past 100 years.

    • I agree that we should have funding for these environmental scientists because it will allow us to continue to evolve in a way that will benefit our future. I believe this project could be a stepping stone for other projects, and I like how you highlighted its importance. I do agree, we have a long way to go but with the support of the people, it’s possible to move forward.

  5. It is important for companies to start experimenting with new ways to decrease their carbon footprint. Carbon emissions can be devastating to the environment. For years scientists have explained how carbon emission other greenhouse gases are contributing to climate change. If there is not enough action to reduce our carbon emissions, scientists have predicted some drastic changes. We have been warned about hotter climates, rising sea levels, and even a growing hole in the ozone layer. That is why Wyoming is in the process of developing Project Bison. The goal of the project is to remove as much carbon from the air as possible. Project Bison will create hundreds of air filtration systems that will separate carbon from the air and store it as a liquid deep underground. This service will mainly be purchased by big corporations that want to reduce their carbon footprint. The idea of the plan sounds great, but I am a bit skeptical about how the project will develop over time. The main issue is how many corporations will be apart of the project. Even though some companies are already on board with the project, they all paid a hefty amount of money to support it. The price of the project will deter many companies because not much information is available yet to determine whether it is cost efficient. I am also skeptical about the idea of storing carbon as a liquid underground. If a pipeline or storage unit leaks or is damaged, it will cost more money. Storing carbon under the project is already expensive as is, and much more money is needed to maintain and repair the storage units. Even though the Inflation Reduction Act does increase the tax credit for companies, I do think much more incentives are needed to make this project viable. Even if Project Bison reaches its potential, it still won’t be enough to reduce carbon emissions. The main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions according to EPA is transportation. So besides looking at corporations, it is everyday people that also contribute to carbon emissions. There has been great progress to reduce emissions from transportation. Electric vehicles have become more popular, and California recently banned selling new gasoline cars by 2035. This a huge step towards reducing air pollution, so hopefully more nations start doing the same. Another thing that will greatly reduce carbon emission is the deal that Rivian has made with Amazon. The deal includes a plan to replace many of Amazon’s delivery truck with new electric ones. Not only will the deal benefit both companies, but it will also help fight climate change. These projects are massive in size, but much more can be done. We need to start developing projects on a smaller scale. More individuals must start being conscious about what their personal carbon footprint is. These big corporations cannot do all the work themselves, so we must start taking individual responsibility to further combat carbon emissions. Society has already done enough damage to the environment and some scientists believe the Earth is damaged beyond repair.

  6. In a vast and everchanging world with many technological advancements occurring every day, the problem of Co2 gasses affecting our environment remains an ever-present problem to society. When the industrial revolution occurred more than a hundred years ago, people did not understand the harmful toxins that were being released into the air. Throughout the last fifty years we have seen the rise of carbon emissions without proper regulations especially in many third world countries who lack the proper resources. As of the recent future however, that has changed for the better as we are now understanding the everlasting damage being done to the environment. Project Bison happening in Wyoming is one of the few necessary steps this great country is taking to further prevent the spread of climate change. The idea of filtrating C02 out of the air and store it inside the ground is an innovative idea in which many people will get behind. The biggest step that this facility is taking is selling their services to big corporations in hopes to reduce their emissions. For many years now it had been amongst public perception that big corporations and their factories were the leading cause of emissions and cause of climate change. With this project it now will give incentives for these companies to not only reduce their emissions but also improve their public relations with the people. The recently passed inflation reduction act is more of so another major step this great struggle. The incentivized tax credits for these carbon emission removal facilities gives these companies a major head start in an economic sense. Often when these big facilities open in general through their first years, they often have a huge tax deficit which results in losses and downturn. My only skepticism of the plans to reduce emissions is the effect that it will have on manufacturers in the short run. Will the qualities of certain industrial factories be limited if they are not allowed to produce at a normal level? In the long run and for the future the project being conducted in Wyoming will benefit this current generation and future ones too as we will be creating a safer and cleaner environment.

  7. In this world where new technological and scientific advances are constantly being made daily, problems haven’t been solved, especially Co2 gasses. As a result of many historical inventions like the steamboat, trains, cars, and even factories, these things didn’t seem like destructive issues to the environment during the industrial revolution. Especially as time has gone on and science has progressed, no one knew that these things would falter in the future. As the years have gone by, we have seen the constant release and rise of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, but no actions have been taken until now. For the last couple of years, the push for sustainability and other forms of protecting the environment has been discussed, and tons of projects have come from this. In Wyoming, Project Bison is taking off as one of the most effective steps toward climate change. Most individuals will welcome the novel concept of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and depositing it underground. Providing its services to larger companies to cut emissions is the facility’s most considerable step. The general public has long thought that large companies and facilities significantly contribute to emissions and climate change. With the project’s success, these firms will have motivations to not only cut their footprints but also better their partnerships with the public at large. The previously approved inflation reduction act is another major leap in this continuous struggle. These firms have a substantial economic advantage because of the tax subsidies for emission reduction facilities. Of course, with all these changes to help the environment, could affect these firms and their business, but they will definitely be beneficial for the future of our planet.

  8. Climate change has been a haunting idea for a while but it has finally become a reality. Countries all over the world are experiencing the effects of the long awaited climate change, including the United States of America. Some countries are experiencing severe droughts while others are experiencing mass flooding; which are causing its citizens their homes and/or lives. We need to finally take action and try to combat climate change before it is too late. Carbon Capture has gotten ahead of the curve with their Project Bison. What Carbon Capture is trying to do with Project Bison is an attempt to clean the air of human emitted CO2 by sucking it out of the air, compressing it into a liquid, and pumping it through pipelines that will store the liquid in wells thousands of feet underground. This service will be offered to companies who are looking to cut down on their carbon emissions. This project is going to be a huge step forward, since new technological and scientific advancements are always being made, they never solve problems we create, they just make more. Although this is a great first start in combating climate change, we still have a ways to go. Project Bison’s plan is to capture five million metric tons of CO2 a year by 2030, but the problem is humans emitted more than 36 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2021 alone, so we still have a long ways to go. With the cost of one ton of carbon captured being around $600-$700 and our yearly output being roughly 36 billion, this project does not seem feasible in the near future, unless the cost per ton comes down a lot. Since we are starting to see the effects of climate change now, the push for sustainability and other forms of protecting our environment is finally being discussed with many other projects coming from this. Combatting climate change is not something that can be fixed by one company, large corporations that are responsible for mass emissions of CO2 should be held responsible and pressured into decreasing their carbon emissions.

  9. Climate Change is a serious topic that get overlooked way to often. Some people want to believe that it is not happening but in reality the evidence is right in front of their faces. Ice that’s not suppose to be melting is melting, Days are getting hotter, and in parts of the world it doesn’t snow like how it did a couple years ago. I think with this invention it will get us in the right direction to ultimately fixing the planet before it gets to the point where it is unsavable and we can’t just live here but we’ll have to survive here. It seems as though people want to overlook this climate change issue until it comes down to the day where we have to do something about or else everyone is going to die and we are going to have to try to live someone else. I feel like people know about climate change but they aren’t really researching how it’s affecting us slowly. For example, the polar ice caps and glaciers are melting due to global warming, with the ice caps melting and adding more water on top of the already existing water it can most likey cause the sea levels to rise. If the sea levels started to rise from the ice caps melting it can be expected that some cities and locations can very much end up underwater and will be gone. Opposed to in other places with less water, all the heat that we get that’s slowly increasing will most likely cause those locations to start experiencing droughts. Climate Change as a whole Is a very serious issue because no one seems to be doing something in the present other than just calculating how much time we have left before things get back, that’s why I think it’s important that this company is making something that can help with that and be sold to different parts of the world to ultimately slow it down one step at time with it’s carbon removal service. Hopefully it is successful and we start to see a change in the future regarding how much time we have left on the plant before it is unsavable.

  10. Climate change is a real problem an issue that may not be affecting people’s everyday lives but it will eventually and not seeing the effects of it can be detrimental to fighting it. Many people today make say that climate change isn’t real because it hasn’t really caused any problems currently and they have been hearing about it for a couple of years and nothing hasn’t really been done. People also feel like they are just one person that can’t affect the climate. Since these are all things that people have echoed and said throughout the years in my opinion there needs to be something that people can see that is large it makes an impact on climate change so people can be more thoughtful about their actions. Corporations are also a big factor in the CO2 emissions that happened across the world. Things in the past such as taxing them for going over CO2 limits and restrictions did it really help the cause that much. Project Bison Is a way for this to be a better way to complete our task at hand even though it is very large. The issue with this though is trying to replicate this in places across the world is difficult because of many different factors. The biggest barrier is the cost of it which has slowly been coming down throughout the years. The second issue with it is that it can’t be placed just anywhere. The third issue is storing the liquid underground because of external issues such as pipe leaks and other things. But something is better than nothing and we’re trying to play catch-up on a very delicate situation.

  11. Whether you believe in climate change or not, there is evidence to back up that climate change does exist and there needs to be done something about it. One state that is doing something to combat climate change is Wyoming. By 2030, Wyoming is projected to have the world’s largest carbon removal facility that will suck five million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year out of the air, which is equivalent to emissions from driving a million gas-powered cars for a year. The name of this project is Project Bison. In the facility, carbon dioxide will be captured, compressed into a liquid, and travel into wells drilled underground. It is smart that this carbon removal service will be offered to corporations to help them decrease their carbon emissions. Last year while I was researching the high air pollution in China, I learned that the government could offer companies to buy tradable pollution permits. These permits would allow companies to pollute a certain number of units of carbon dioxide per year. Although these permits will not completely stop carbon dioxide emissions, they do help decrease the number of emissions released in a specific time span. The money raised by companies purchasing these permits can be used to install air filtration systems or carbon removal facilities just like the one in Wyoming. There are multiple options for companies to decrease their carbon emissions, which they should be utilizing.

    Frontier Carbon Solutions is the company in charge of storing carbon dioxide underground, which is a process called direct air capture. A commercial plant in Iceland used direct air capturing and it was successful in capturing four thousand tons of carbon dioxide in 2021. A downfall to direct air capturing is how expensive it is. It can cost a couple of hundred dollars per ton of carbon dioxide captured. Initial prices CarbonCapture offers are $600 – $700 to buy credit for one ton of carbon to be captured and permanently stored. However, for big corporations, this price is not expensive at all. In the long run, if companies participated in capturing and permanently storing their carbon dioxide, that would help these companies because customers would be more inclined to support more eco-friendly companies, which would earn these companies more revenue. Currently, CarbonCapture is trying to reduce its cost to only $250 per ton of carbon captured, so it will be more inclusive for smaller companies.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that carbon dioxide removal is important to avoid climate change. It is nice to see many startups trying to find ways to efficiently absorb carbon. One way that shocked me was robotic seaweed farms. Robotic seaweed farms are like planting forests in the ocean. Boats will grow seaweed in the middle of the ocean and then sink it to the ocean floor. Overall, climate change is real, and it deserves more recognition for how to combat it. We need to protect the world we live in.

  12. Even in a world where new scientific and technical discoveries are produced every day, challenges still exist, particularly with regard to CO2 gasses. The steamboat, railways, autos, and even factories were historical technologies that didn’t seem to be damaging to the environment throughout the industrial revolution. Nobody anticipated that these things would eventually fail, particularly as time and science advanced. As the years passed, carbon emissions into the atmosphere increased and were continuously released, but until now, nothing had been done about it. The push for sustainability and other environmental protection measures has been addressed over the past few years, and many projects have resulted from this. Project Bison is becoming one of the most successful efforts in Wyoming to combat climate change. The majority of people will favor the new idea of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and burying it underground. The facility’s most significant action is offering its services to larger businesses to reduce pollution. The general public has long believed that big businesses and infrastructure play a significant role in emissions and climate change. If the project is successful, these businesses will be inspired to reduce their environmental impact while simultaneously strengthening their relationships with the general public. Another significant advance in this never-ending battle is the previously adopted inflation reduction act. These businesses enjoy a significant financial advantage as a result of the tax incentives for pollution reduction equipment. Of course, these improvements for the environment could have an impact on these businesses and their operations, but they will undoubtedly be good for the planet’s future.

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