A groundbreaking initiative is underway in South Korea’s Daesan Industrial Complex, aiming to establish the world’s first integrated plant capable of removing 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually while generating freshwater from seawater. As nations commit to carbon neutrality, innovative approaches such as direct air capture (DAC) technology are gaining prominence. Capture6, a DAC technology company, takes a unique approach by not only capturing CO2 but also addressing water scarcity concerns.
The Daesan Industrial Complex, responsible for 40% of South Korea’s petrochemical production, faces water scarcity due to recent droughts. K-water, the state-owned water utility company, is constructing a desalination plant to meet water needs. Simultaneously, the area generates 17MtCO2e of greenhouse emissions annually.
Capture6’s Project Octopus, part of an integrated plant in the industrial area, collaborates with K-water’s desalination facility. Saltwater from the desalination plant becomes a crucial component for creating a carbon removal solvent in direct air capture applications. Ethan Cohen-Cole, Capture6’s CEO, emphasizes the project’s significance, stating it is a major step towards sustainable regional development.
This innovative approach not only offers an affordable method for carbon removal but also increases freshwater yields. Capture6 addresses environmental concerns associated with desalination by utilizing the resulting brine to produce green chemicals, including hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonates. These chemicals, vital for industrial applications in South Korea, contribute to the decarbonization of water management operations.
Traditionally, the desalination process produces brine, which is harmful to marine ecosystems. Capture6’s strategy transforms this waste into green chemicals, reducing the environmental impact of industrial activities in the region. This circular economy approach aligns with sustainability goals, making the industrial processes more environmentally friendly.
Yun Seog Dae, CEO of K-water, emphasizes the commitment to global carbon neutrality efforts and fostering domestic water industry innovation. The collaboration between K-water and Capture6 reflects a significant stride towards creating a sustainable future by integrating carbon removal, freshwater generation, and environmentally conscious industrial practices.