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Captured carbon to be used in fizzy drinks

19/12/2018
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Innovative carbon capture projects have been in the news of late, especially as countries gear up to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals. The majority of these plans involve either using the captured carbon to manufacture industrial materials such as concrete or storing it underground. But Climeworks, a Swiss-based energy company, wants to use captured carbon in fizzy drinks!
Sparkling mineral water- now with captured carbon!
(Coca-Cola’s Valser mineral water will soon feature ‘captured carbon’ bubbles. Image via Climeworks).

Climeworks will capturing carbon using its Direct Air Capture (DAC) system and providing it to Coca-Cola HBC who will be using the CO2 in its Valser mineral water product. The DAC system works by drawing in air and chemically binding CO2 to a unique filter, while allowing other atmospheric molecules to pass through. The filter is heated to 100◦C to release the CO2, which is then collected as a concentrated gas which can then be supplied to customers such as Coca-Cola.

The global beverage industry is one of the largest users of CO2 in the world for the production of bubbles in carbonated beverages. The collaboration with Climeworks will allow Coca-Cola HBC to source the CO2 needed for their carbonated beverages from a sustainable source.

Commenting on the innovative collaboration, Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland General Manager, Nigel Davis said:

“We are proud to be the first beverage company in the world to drive the development of this groundbreaking technology. Sustainability is part of our strategic business priorities. We are constantly looking for ways to further reduce our environmental footprint in everything we do. We are all the more pleased that we can now support a local Swiss company”.
The world's first commercial Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant in Switzerland.
(Climeworks’ plant in Switzerland- the world’s first commercial Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant. Image via Climeworks).

Climeworks has ambitious plans to scale-up its DAC technology and increase its commercial application as the company’s co-founder and Managing Director Jan Wurzbacher explains:

“Entering the beverage market with Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland continues our path of commercialisation of our Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, which began with the world’s first commercial facility in May 2017. We are excited about the opportunity to work with a market leader in the beverage industry as part of our overarching goal of removing one percent of global CO2 emission by 2025”.

Climeworks co-founder and CEO Christoph Gebald adds:

“We are delighted to have access to the beverage market by working with Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland, a leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland has been an extremely helpful and indispensable partner in recent years in advancing the DAC’s use in the beverage industry which we are very grateful for”.

Whilst the process of capturing the CO2 is extremely expensive- Climeworks estimates that the capture of one ton of CO2 costs $600- they are confident that the cost can be reduced to around $115 per ton thanks to the increased commercialisation of the technology.

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Captured carbon to be used in fizzy drinks - Time to read 3 min
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