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The ‘world’s largest’ vacuum to suck climate pollution out of the air just opened. Here’s how it works


CNN —  The “world’s largest” plant designed to suck planet-heating pollution out of the atmosphere like a giant vacuum began operating in Iceland on Wednesday.

“Mammoth” is the second commercial direct air capture plant opened by Swiss company Climeworks in the country, and is 10 times bigger than its predecessor, Orca, which started running in 2021.

Direct air capture, or DAC, is a technology designed to suck in air and strip out the carbon using chemicals. The carbon can then be injected deep beneath the ground, reused or transformed into solid products.

Climeworks plans to transport the carbon underground where it will be naturally transformed into stone, locking up the carbon permanently. It is partnering with Icelandic company Carbfix for this so-called sequestration process.

The whole operation will be powered by Iceland’s abundant, clean geothermal energy.

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