1. What is carbon dioxide removal?

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) refers to the process of removing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. 

Much of the work done so far in combating climate change has involved reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and other decarbonising techniques all contribute to reducing the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to decarbonisation, CDR is now recognised by the IPCC as essential for achieving the 1.5-degree climate target to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The magnitude of CDR required is massive, with some estimates indicating that 10 billion tonnes of CO2 must be removed from the air by 2050.

2. Why do we need more CDR solutions?

There are broadly two types of CDR in the market today: 

Nature-based solutions: These include solutions such as afforestation and agricultural practices that lock CO2 into trees, plants and soil. These solutions are cost-effective and widely available today but vary in durability and scalability, leading to uncertainty around whether some nature-based CDR projects alone can achieve enough CDR to achieve global targets. 

Engineered/technical solutions: These represent engineered tools that capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere and store it permanently elsewhere, often underground. While these solutions are more expensive and supply-constrained today, they are generally accepted to remove CO2 permanently, leading experts to agree that we need to scale the capacity and portfolio of engineered solutions to meet the guidelines set by the IPCC.

3. What is Origen’s solution for carbon dioxide removal?

At the heart of Origen’s CDR solution is calcium oxide (CaO) or lime  —  a common material used throughout the world in construction, cement and steel manufacturing, and water purification.

As a mineral, lime also has an incredible property – it reacts naturally with CO2 in the ambient air enabling it to be extracted and stored permanently. 

But there’s a catch. Lime manufacturing emits 1 tonne of CO2 per 1 tonne of lime produced, which means we are unable to use conventionally-produced lime for carbon removal today.

Origen has developed an innovative method — Origen’s ZerCaL™ technology — which decarbonises the lime manufacturing process. This enables the production of zero-carbon lime that can be used in carbon removal. By leveraging the core ZerCaL™ technology, Origen has unlocked multiple pathways to giga-scale, low-cost CDR such as Direct Air Capture.

4. What makes Origen different from other CDR companies?

Our zero-carbon lime is elemental in achieving a solution to tackle the planet’s trillion-tonne CO2 problem and can help scale multiple CDR pathways

The benefits are clear:

  • Simple – Our technological solution harnesses natural limestone mineralisation and equipment and processes that have been used for decades at an industrial scale.
  • Scalable – Lime is abundant and can achieve gigaton scale CDR.
  • Cost Effective – Low-cost materials and efficient CO2 separation enable a pathway to CDR at $100/ton.  

But we cannot do this alone. We also need leaders to catalyse a new mega-industry – on a scale that the world has never seen. As a business, we actively want to work with and encourage collaboration. Only then can we hope to reverse the harm caused by more than a century of industrialisation.

5. What are Origen’s mission and values?

Our vision is ‘the atmosphere, restored’. We aim to be the global leader in carbon dioxide removal solutions. And we want to build a better future. To achieve our goals, we need people who share our values. 

  • Curiosity: We have a growth mindset and challenge the status quo.
  • Persistence: We see opportunities in setbacks and maintain positivity.
  • Collaboration: We build trust and inclusivity.
  • Transparency: We are open & honest and do not operate in a hierarchy.
  • Simplicity: We strive to use everyday language in how we communicate.

Together, we can reverse the effects of climate change and realise our vision of the atmosphere, restored.