Exxon developing CO2 removal tech, seeking cost-effective breakthrough

ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods recently discussed the company's efforts to develop technology for direct air capture of carbon dioxide during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. Woods highlighted the potential of this technology as a tool to combat climate change, but acknowledged the current high costs associated with it. The removal of atmospheric emissions currently costs between $600 to $1,000 per ton, making it unaffordable on a large scale.

Exxon Mobil has initiated a pilot project in Baytown, Texas, to test its direct air capture process. Woods emphasized the need to reduce costs to around $100 per ton for the technology to become a viable solution to address climate change. Despite the challenges, Woods expressed confidence in Exxon's capabilities to work towards making direct air capture more affordable and widely applicable.

The company is also actively involved in carbon capture and storage technology, focusing on removing emissions from industrial processes along the Gulf Coast. Woods mentioned that despite the ongoing efforts by various companies and universities to develop scalable direct air capture technology, Exxon is poised to have a significant role in the market once a breakthrough is achieved.

While carbon capture and direct air capture technologies have been met with controversy and skepticism, with concerns raised by activists about the oil industry's intentions, the International Energy Agency has recognized their importance in achieving net-zero global emissions by 2050. However, the IEA has also cautioned against overreliance on these technologies and stressed the need for the oil and gas industry to demonstrate their effectiveness at scale.

Overall, ExxonMobil's focus on developing cost-effective direct air capture technology, along with its efforts in carbon capture and storage, reflects the ongoing industry-wide push to address climate change and reduce emissions. The path forward will require collaboration, innovation, and continued investment in sustainable solutions.


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