Mimicking the human lung to capture CO2
What is the Challenge?
To meet the global mission of reducing global temperatures by 1.5 degrees Celsius, humanity must not only decarbonize but also extract billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Despite CO2 levels more than doubling since the industrial revolution, their concentration remains a mere 0.04% in the air, posing a significant energy-intensive challenge for removal. Direct Air Capture offers a solution with its ability to significantly reduce CO2 on a small land footprint, but it's criticized for high costs and energy demands. What if we could harness organ-mimicking technology to capture more CO2 and release purified air back into the atmosphere?
What is the Solution?
Founded in 2022, Ucaneo is on a mission to eliminate 500 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2035, leveraging its state-of-the-art biomimetic Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. This cutting-edge approach, which draws inspiration from human respiration, integrates advancements in electrochemistry, material science, and (bio)catalysis. This convergence of natural processes and engineering excellence paves the way for a scalable and sustainable method of CO2 removal, positioning Ucaneo at the forefront of environmental technology.
Ucaneo's revolutionary DAC method marks a significant departure from traditional practices that operate like chemical sponges, requiring up to 900°C to process CO2 and resulting in high energy consumption and costs. In contrast, Ucaneo’s technique, reminiscent of a synergy between cooling towers and desalination plants, employs groundbreaking solvents and catalysts. It efficiently captures CO2 in the form of bicarbonates using a unique solvent in a specialized liquid-air contactor, then isolates it through an electrochemical cell. This innovative process not only produces concentrated CO2 gas for carbon-neutral applications or long-term underground storage but also releases purified air back into the atmosphere. By circumventing the need for high-temperature processing and creating a more modular and adaptable technology, Ucaneo significantly reduces energy requirements, making its solution a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative in the realm of carbon capture and storage.