Discover Climeworks AG - a Startup powered by CADFEM Group: How CFD simulations support the journey towards larger-scale CO2 removal

Climeworks is not only a technical adventure to tackle climate change, but also a human adventure that Nathalie Casas, Head of Technology at Climeworks, shared with cofounders Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, and Markus Dutly, CEO of CADFEM (Suisse) AG. Climeworks has had a special relationship with CADFEM since its creation.
Christophe Ozier-Lafontaine, CADFEM (Suisse) AG

Climeworks’ mission of empowering humanity to permanently remove co2 from the air

When it comes to mitigating climate change, we all now understand that different solutions are needed to tackle this challenge. First, we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil energy that fuels transportation, heating, electricity production, and more. We urgently need to invest in renewables, switch to electric vehicles, and increase heating efficiency. However, in order to keep 1.5 degrees within reach, drastically reducing emissions alone will not be sufficient in reversing climate change. The latest IPCC report, released on April 4, 2022, has reconfirmed that we need to actively remove billions of tons of CO2 directly from the atmosphere. One way to achieve this is by planting trees and stopping deforestation. However, it takes time for trees to grow, and forests can be destroyed by wildfires, as we often see in Australia or in the Amazon, which releases the absorbed CO2.

Since its founding in 2009, Climeworks has developed its direct air capture (DAC) technology to remove CO2 directly from ambient air. What makes DAC a unique approach is that it is one of the most effective carbon removal approaches because it:

  1. Offers permanent removal when combined with geological storage,
  2. Is fully measurable and thus transparent, and
  3. Is one of the most scalable carbon removal solutions: Deployment is modular and flexible, requiring relatively little land and therefore does not compete with food and water security.

In the past years, the efficiency of Climeworks’ DAC technology has been increased by highly skilled engineers, such as Nathalie Casas (Head of Technology). She takes advantage of simulation tools and CADFEM (Suisse) AG supports to reduce time to market.

Swiss Startup Climeworks was founded by Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher in 2009. Based in Oerlikon, in the City of Zurich, Climeworks is the first company that has combined DAC with the underground mineralization of CO2 for permanent and safe carbon dioxide removal. The company runs the largest number of direct air capture facilities in operation across Europe, proving that its technology is efficient in diverse climatic conditions, collecting several tens of thousands of operational hours. It is now operating the world’s largest direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) plant “Orca” in Iceland. It also offers the highest-quality carbon dioxide removal currently available on the market (it is the only company with a 5-star rating in CarbonPlan’s database).

Visit the CADFEM Journal section on to get insights about how Climeworks’ DAC technology works, how it helps to remove CO2 from the air and how Ansys simulations are used to achieve the objectives.

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