Direct Air Capture (DAC) defined

Direct Air Capture processes and removes CO2 from ambient atmosphere--driving air over and through a series of panels and filters to selectively remove CO2 from the air. The carbon is then stored in various forms e.g. as stone or transformed into fuel.


Research and statistics are confirming that climate stabilization will not be achieved by a rapid global reduction emissions alone--large-scale efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2 must be undertaken as well. Direct Air Capture technology is in its infancy but is already an integral component of a sustainable global climate solution. It operates with little-to-no unintended and potentially negative consequences.


Since DAC systems are extracting CO2 from extremely low concentrations, costs of extraction can be high. Target production cost goals are $100/ton CO2 but current actual costs are still over $600/ton CO2. This has DAC producers scrambling to increase efficiencies and lower operating cost. Part of this high production cost is the energy intensive nature of the process. Some DAC technologies are also water intensive processes.

The Facts


Currently each DAC (unit) plant is capable of capturing roughly 1,000 tons of CO2 annually, equal to the power of 36,000 trees.


Climeworks’ ultimate goal is to capture 1% of the world's CO2 emissions by 2025. To achieve this an estimated 250,000 units will need to be operational.


Global CO2 emissions totaled 32.5 billion tons in 2017 (International Energy Agency) and are estimated to have reached 36.8 billion tons for 2019 (Global Carbon Project).


Climeworks technology can be deployed all year. Generally, NOW subscribers will see the CO2 sequestration in two metrics: Total CO2 Removal Funded and CO2 Removed to Date.

For this mechanism of CO2 removal, the two numbers will be identical. However, for our planting projects the Total CO2 Removal Funded begins counting as soon as the subscription begins and reflects the anticipated impact over the lifetime of the trees planted.

Removal to Date reflects real-time CO2 removal based on where the trees are in their lifecycle and begins counting once the trees are in planting season. Although not the case for Climeworks some projects will have a gap between funding the project and the planting season, which will be reflected in a delayed start to counting CO2 removed to date. However, the Total Removal Funded will always begin with subscription.



Climeworks was founded in 2009 with a prototype CO2 absorbent filter and a vision to make a positive impact on global climate change. Climeworks employs a modular system that enables portability, scalability, as well as the ability to locate plants near both energy sources and consumption and storage locations. This greatly reduces product cost and minimizes transportation carbon footprint and costs.