Environment

Coca-Cola mineral water to use captured carbon for fizz

Coca-Cola mineral water to use...
 Valser mineral water, soon to feature bubbles from the air
 Valser mineral water, soon to feature bubbles from the air
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Climeworks is a Swiss energy startup that aims to collect carbon from industrial facilities using what’s known as Direct Air Capture (DAC)
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Climeworks is a Swiss energy startup that aims to collect carbon from industrial facilities using what’s known as Direct Air Capture (DAC)
 Valser mineral water, soon to feature bubbles from the air
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 Valser mineral water, soon to feature bubbles from the air
Climeworks is at the vanguard of current DAC technology
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Climeworks is at the vanguard of current DAC technology

There is a growing contingent of environmentally minded startups and researchers looking to recycle CO2 into useful products, with the possibilities including everything from foam mattresses, to lightweight carbon fiber to concrete. The soda industry is one place where you can bet there will be a massive demand for the gas, and its about to get a little bit cleaner with Coca-Cola HBC signing a deal to use CO2 captured by Swiss startup Climeworks for its Valser mineral water.

Climeworks is a Swiss energy startup that aims to collect carbon from industrial facilities through what is known as Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. Its systems work by drawing ambient air in through an integrated filter system using huge fans. Those filters are made from a material that selectively captures CO2, which can then be treated and put to use in products ranging including solar fuels, agricultural products and now carbonated beverages.

Currently, companies like Coca-Cola HBC mostly use CO2 sourced from factories set up to create other chemicals, such as natural gas or ammonia fertilizer, but produce CO2 as a byproduct that can be bottled and sold. But a CO2 shortage in Europe this year suggests identifying other sources of the gas wouldn't be a bad idea, and CO2 bound for the atmosphere seems a good place to start.

Climeworks is a Swiss energy startup that aims to collect carbon from industrial facilities using what’s known as Direct Air Capture (DAC)
Climeworks is a Swiss energy startup that aims to collect carbon from industrial facilities using what’s known as Direct Air Capture (DAC)

It's worth noting that it will end up there anyway. As a soda bottle is popped or a can is cracked, the CO2 inside is released into the atmosphere. But hey, being recycled one time is better than not being recycled at all. And this is far from the first example of a company making fizzy drinks with recycled CO2, with efforts dating back to the early 2000s.

But the agreement between Coca-Cola HBC is a large feather in the cap for Climeworks, which is at the vanguard of current DAC technology. It has grand ambitions but faces a huge task in making DAC a viable commercial venture as the practice is currently prohibitively expensive. They told us earlier in the year that it costs them around US$600 to capture a single ton of CO2, though they are confident of driving the costs down as the technology improves and more plants open.

"We are proud to be the first beverage company in the world to drive the development of this groundbreaking technology," says Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland General Manager Nigel Davis. "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. "

Source: Valser

7 comments
ChairmanLMAO
Well my brand, Fukushima Springs, uses the same carbon capture technique. So healthy. So refreshing. So uncontaminated.
MerlinGuy
Gimmick. Think of the carbon created just to create the plastic bottle alone. Want to save the world, drink tap water.
mrhuckfin
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't all CO2 just pulled from the atmosphere anyhow, so how is that helping one iota? Also CO2 is not a pollutant and we do not have to much and it could be 10,000 X what is now and would have no effect on our climate.....so there is that! ☺
TopherPoore
More virtual signalling from Coke
Douglas Bennett Rogers
The point is that it isn't taking CO2 out of the ground. It's mainly PR.
Simon Redford
The lack of information about the specific electrical energy consumption to capture CO2 by Climeworks’ adsorption technology suggests to me that this is about as sensible as Pavegen - unnecessary distractions on the path to true sustainability. Well said MerlinGuy – drink ‘Corporation Pop’ to not only reduce the packaging and processing but also the insane product miles associated with the fizzy drinks world. Get back to the real agenda – this is a PR stunt. Must get a bottle of that Fukushima Springs - save having to replace the light in my fridge!
Grumpyrelic
Before they decided to "recycle" CO2, did these carbonated beverage companies use Alchemists to transmute Lead and Hydrogen into CO2 for their needs? Didn't think so. All carbon and all Oxygen is constantly being recycled and always has been. The drinking water that Montrealers use probably already went through the kidneys of somebody living in Chicago, Detroit, Niagra Falls, Toronto, Kingston and Cornwall not to mention all the aboriginals and dinosaurs, trees and bacteria on the planet since its formation. The CO2 scam is the greatest ever since the invention of religion. I can't wait until we discover a planet where Adam wasn't offered an apple...