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DemoUpCARMA & DemoUpStorage - the projects in brief

DemoUpCARMA (Demonstration and Upscaling of CARbon dioxide MAnagement solutions for a net-zero Switzerland) is a pilot project lead by ETH Zurich. It aims to demonstrate the implementation and scale-up of two pathways leading to negative emissions:

  • CO2 utilization and permanent storage in primary and recycled concrete in Switzerland using a novel technology.
  • CO2 transport and permanent storage in a geological reservoir abroad.

DemoUpCARMA will assess the optimal design of these pathways and their upscaling potential considering technological, economical, regulatory, political, and societal factors in the mid- to long-term. Negative emissions are an integral component to reduce Switzerland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to net zero, and to reach the country’s climate goals.

DemoUpStorage is a partner project of DemoUpCARMA and linked to its second pathway. DemoUpStorage involves the investigation and monitoring of the geological reservoir abroad and its potential to store larger   quantities of CO2.

DemoUpCARMA and DemoUpStorage are funded and supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). It brings together 24 partners from academia and industry with some of them providing additional financial and in-kind contributions.

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DemoUpCARMA is funded and supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

News & Events

2022-08-10

First CO2 transport arrived in Iceland

First CO2 transport arrived in Iceland

The first container with 20 tons of CO2 from Switzerland now reached Iceland. In Iceland, a total of 1'000 tons are going to be injected into a geological reservoir with the aim of generating negative emissions. DemoUpCARMA aims to identify and investigate all aspects that are decisive for the feasibility and scalability of establishing such a CO2 transport chain.

The first twenty of the total 1’000 tons arrived today in Iceland, where they will be stored in the underground. A total of fifty transports will be made. The CO2 comes from the ARA Bern biogas plant. It is therefore biogenic CO2, produced by the decay of organic materials that had previously absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere. If this CO2 is permanently removed from the atmosphere, it is considered as negative emissions. DemoUpCARMA is a pilot project and, among other things, investigates the feasibility of such a CO2 transport chain in a comprehensive manner. DemoUpCARMA intends to explore what it takes to store CO2. The findings shall support climate policy decisions.

CO2 transport and storage under the scientific microscope

With the first successful transport, an important milestone has been reached for the project, which will run until the end of 2024: "Many people ask themselves whether such a transport is justifiable at all, i.e. whether it is economical and does not negatively impact the environment. Our project is important to examine such a transport chain in a ’real life laboratory‘ and to provide answers to precisely these questions using scientific methods", says Viola Becattini, project manager of DemoUpCARMA.

The transport chain is composed of a total of five stages: After the container is filled with CO2 from the ARA Bern, it is brought to the cargo station in Weil am Rhein. There, the container switches to rail and travels by freight train to the port of Rotterdam (Netherlands). The longest leg of the journey is by ship from Rotterdam to Reykjavik (Iceland). From the port in Reykjavik, it travels by truck to the plant in Helguvík, where the CO2 will be injected into a basaltic rock formation by the Icelandic company Carbfix for mineralization and permanent storage, via a technique they have been using for about ten years.

Monitoring of the geological deposit

In addition to transport and the associated requirements, DemoUpCARMA and in particular its partner project DemoUpStorage are also investigating the storage of Swiss CO2 in the Icelandic subsurface. The Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich is supporting the Icelandic company Carbfix in monitoring the geological storage site over a period of two years. The aim is to examine in detail how the subsurface reacts to the injection of the CO2 and how it mineralizes in the basaltic rock there.

Thus, DemoUpCARMA and its partner project DemoUpStorage are exploring the entire path from CO2 capture to storage in order to identify the framework conditions needed to implement such CO2 management solutions.

Tags: news

2022-07-14

Carbon mineralization plant scaled up

Carbon mineralization plant scaled up

The DemoUpCARMA partner Neustark now starts running their carbon mineralization plant on a commercial level. The scaleup has been realized in the framework of DemoUpCARMA and will allow to validate the overall value chain. Watch how the plant works in their new video.

More details about the process and the aims of DemoUpCARMA with regards to this technology will soon be described in a blog post, published on this website.

Tags: news

2022-05-19

Federal Council gives the green light on the expansion of negative emission technologies

At its meeting yesterday, the Federal Council approved a report that identifies measures and frameworks for developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) and negative emission technologies (NET) to the required extent by 2050. The report is based on a motion submitted by the Committee for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy of the National Council, which recognises the urgent need for research and development in this area (see news article from 28 March 2022).

In order for Switzerland to achieve its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, CCS and NET are needed for emissions that are difficult to avoid. Although such approaches are already known, they are not yet available on the required scale. For their expansion to be environmentally compatible, cost-efficient, and socially accepted over the next thirty years, the necessary frameworks should already be improved today as the Federal Council states in its correspondence. This decision underlines the importance of DemoUpCARMA already exploring such technologies and analysing their scalability and feasibility. 

More information:

2022-03-28

Motion on research and development of negative emission technologies adopted

Following the approval by the National Council, the Council of States recently approved a motion to promote research and development of negative emission technologies by the federal government. The motion was submitted by the Commission for Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy and recognizes the acute need for research and development in the field of negative emissions.
DemoUpCARMA contributes to develop technologies to achieve negative emissions and to test their scalability and feasibility.

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