The oil and gas industry was an early investor, with projects backed by energy majors including ExxonMobil and Occidental.
For DAC pioneers Global Thermostat, a decade of environmental research resulted in two functioning pilot projects, each with capacity to capture up to 4,000 metric tons of CO₂ per year. In 2019, ExxonMobile began a partnership with the start-up to launch this research at scale, investing money and expertise to build additional facilities that will boost the current modest carbon capture capacity to 1 billion metric tons (one gigaton) annually.
Global Thermostat’s system draws in air, which is pushed through narrow channels over a large surface area containing a substance that extracts the carbon. Taking high volumes of air over a short period of time allows it to operate quicker than rival systems, reducing capture costs.