A company with global plans to pull carbon from thin air to make fuel, while tackling climate change, opened a pilot plant in this remote western Canadian community.
Carbon Engineering, backed by Bill Gates and other investors, unveiled a test facility able to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using giant fans.
That carbon goes through a series of chemical processes and emerges as pellets, which can be used to make fuel -- or simply be stored underground.
The company was founded in Calgary in 2009 by David Keith, a Harvard University climate scientist, with funding from private investors.
Unlike existing machines that capture carbon from smokestacks like those of coal-fired power plants, the direct air capture plant deals "with emissions from sources you just can't otherwise capture," said company chief executive Adrian Corless.
"It's now possible to take CO2 out of the atmosphere, and use it as a feed stock, with hydrogen, to produce net zero emission fuels."