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:
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.
In a recent interview, project coordinator Marco Mazzotti explains the goals pursued in DemoUpCARMA & Storage and why Federal President Alain Berset is interested in this project.
Click here for the interview.
During his visit to Iceland, President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset toured the Hellisheiði plant, where the initial four shipments of CO2 (80 tons in total) from Switzerland are currently being injected underground. The plant, operated by Carbfix, a partner of DemoUpCARMA, injects CO2 mixed with water for permanent mineralization at its existing wells by the geothermal power plant in Hellisheiði. Marco Mazzotti, coordinator and head of the DemoUpCARMA project at ETH Zurich, attended the visit as the project representative to offer insights.
The initial CO2 deliveries served as a test for establishing a supply chain from Switzerland to Iceland. This test not only provides empirical data for conducting a comprehensive life cycle assessment but also helps identifying existing issues in setting up such a supply chain.
Under the DemoUpCARMA pilot project, a new process will be tested, involving the injection of CO2 dissolved in sea water into the subsurface for mineralization. The injection is scheduled to start in Autumn 2023, and preparations are currently underway in Helguvík to set up the necessary equipment and measuring instruments. Once the plant is completed, the transport of CO2 from Switzerland to Iceland will resume for injecting CO2 into the subsurface at Helguvík.
Furthermore, president Berset visited the Orca plant operated by the Swiss company Climeworks, which extracts CO2 directly from the air. The CO2 captured by Climeworks is also injected by Carbfix in the Icelandic underground for permanent storage via mineralization.
Image credit: Carbfix / Hörður Sveinsson
The interim reports of work packages 2 to 5 are now available online. They provide a good overview of initial results, but also of the difficulties and existing open questions identified by the various teams in the work packages.
The interim reports are available online here.
In the first blog post of our newly started DemoUpBlog Johannes Tiefenthaler, leader of work package 2 and co-founder of Neustark, gives an insight into the carbonation process of recycled concrete. The technique contributes to lower the carbon footprint of concrete and is a domestic pathway to store carbon dioxide permanently.
In our two pilot projects, DemoUpCARMA and DemoUpStorage, a broad range of research questions ranging from Earth science to law and social science are being investigated. The DemoUpBlog will provide you with interesting stories and research findings with regards to these topics. Stay tuned!