Skip to main content

Reimagining Affordable Carbon Capture

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies are increasingly recognized as crucial tools in the fight against climate change. However, the deployment of CCUS is far behind the level needed to meet the UN’s Paris Agreement goal of holding “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.”

Carbon capture methods and deployment

Atoco is addressing the cause and effect of climate change by making CCUS more cost-efficient for hard-to-abate sectors. CCUS technologies aid in reducing the amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere. CCUS facilities are in place worldwide and capture more than 45 metric tons of CO2 annually. Since January 2022 alone, plans to have around 50 new capture facilities in operation by 2030 have been announced, capturing an additional 125 metric tons of CO2 annually.


The most commonly used method of carbon capture is post-combustion capture (PCC). This process involves provisioning a significant emission source, such as a cement plant, with technology to capture CO2 from flue gas and divert it to storage, preventing it from being emitted into the atmosphere. PCC technologies can be retrofitted into existing industrial facilities without shutting down their operation.

The rate and efficiency of PCC solutions can be extremely high, with capabilities of capturing more than 90% of the CO2 from flue gas streams. The higher the concentration of CO2 in these flows, the more cost-effective these technologies are.


The other commonly used carbon capture method is direct air capture (DAC). This method involves CO2 that has already been emitted into the atmosphere being removed from ambient air. DAC is usually less effective and more costly. The gas in the atmosphere is already highly diluted and dispersed; however, the CO2 captured by DAC can still be offset against emissions. While current PCC and DAC technologies may sound impressive, the efforts currently made are still falling short in our fight against climate change.


CO2 capture and separation, the costliest
step in the CCUS value chain

The most significant factor holding back CCUS today is the high cost of the initial, CO2 capture and separation phase in the CCUS value chain. This is especially true where there are relatively low concentrations of CO2 in the flue streams—as is the case for those industries that emit the majority of CO2—where the CO2 capture and separation phase constitutes 45-65% of the total levelized cost of CCUS. Additionally, in DAC applications, the CO2 capture and separation phase represents an even more substantial 80-90% of the total cost of CCUS, if not higher. Technical solutions that can lower costs at the capture and separation stage are therefore critical in lowering costs across the CCUS value chain.

Reticular materials: Atoco’s game-changing technology

Atoco’s technology is based on the life’s work of Professor Omar Yaghi. His groundbreaking discoveries in reticular chemistry are based on the design, synthesis, and characterization of crystalline porous materials called covalent organic frameworks (COFs) and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). These COFs and MOFs have exceptional porosity and enormous internal surface areas, more than 7,800 square meters of surface area per gram; to put this into perspective, laying out the available surface area in a teaspoon of this material (around a gram) would cover an entire soccer field.  Atoco, under the supervision of Professor Omar Yaghi, develops reticular materials that are designed with atomic precision to efficiently capture and separate CO2 gas even at very low concentrations.

1 gram of MOFs would cover 1 soccer field

At Atoco, our technology and methods involve incorporating these COFs and MOFs into solid-state CO2 capture and separation technology that can be deployed for both PCC and DAC applications. What makes this technology particularly promising is its ability to maintain high performance even in the presence of high levels of humidity. Existing sold-state CO2 capture and separation techniques usually require the removal of moisture from the flue gas or ambient air; a process that requires an extensive amount of energy. Cost-cutting opportunities in CCUS deployment can begin at the initial carbon capture phase. With Atoco’s technology, we can make significant progress and make a major contribution to accelerating the uptake of CCUS in even the most difficult-to-abate industries and high-cost DAC applications.


Atoco’s carbon capture solutions are optimized for both PCC and DAC scenarios, they are in the form of solid-state modules, engineered for maximum efficiency and resilience, uncompromised performance in the presence of high humidity and can be sustain thousands of CO2 capture, separation, and regeneration cycles.


By harnessing the research and discoveries of Professor Yaghi and his years of innovative work in reticular chemistry, Atoco is bringing new technology to the fight against climate change.


To learn more. Please read our just-published whitepaper, where we explore CCUS more in-depth and lay out our scalable solutions for PCC and DAC applications.

Learn more in our whitepaper