Monday, January 8, 2024

C&EN: "Can Kenya become a direct-air-capture hub?"

Fascinating story about a Kenya-based startup in this week's C&EN (article by by Geoffrey Kamadi):  

Octavia Carbon, a Kenya-based start-up, has an audacious goal. It wants to become the first company to deploy direct-air-capture (DAC) technology—a method of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—outside the US and Europe.

The hurdles are high. The technology is new and is being used commercially at only two sites in the world. And Octavia needs more R&D before it can advance its process from pilot to commercial scale. Moreover, the technological infrastructure in Kenya is less robust than that of higher-income countries, to say nothing of the financial infrastructure needed to service a DAC venture.

But Martin Freimüller, Octavia’s CEO and founder, says he’s confident the firm will overcome the infrastructure constraints. He’s counting on Kenya to deliver three unique attributes: abundant renewable energy, a local geology that is well suited to the project, and a talented human resource pool that makes the country a competitive place for developing DAC...

...Freimüller’s stay in Kenya has convinced him that the country has the right attributes to develop a DAC project.

Top on Freimüller’s list is Kenya’s abundant renewable energy resources, which are the source of over 90% of the country’s energy. The country is the leading geothermal power producer in Africa and the seventh largest in the world, but it uses only about 10% of its power capacity. The amount going untapped, Freimüller says, is enough to power Octavia’s DAC plants to mega–metric ton scale.

I don't claim to have any climate change answers, but worthwhile to know that people in Kenya are thinking about local potential solutions. It will be interesting to see if these solid amine sorbents end up succeeeding. 

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20