The Dutch start-up company Giaura is a spin-off from an ESA project that uses a specially tailored carbon dioxide (CO2) sorbent in a system to recycle spacecraft cabin air. The plan is to use this sorbent to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere.
Around the world million of tons of CO2 are produced yearly to be used in production of carbonated beverages and the growth of greenhouse crops.
This CO2 is produced through chemical reaction adding to the overall level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. But why not use the overly abundant CO2 in the atmosphere instead?
Giaura's ambition is to develop a system that can capture and store CO2 from the Earth's atmosphere for such use on Earth. This is also expressed in the company name composed of the Greek word for Earth in English 'Gia' and to its aura 'ie', its atmosphere.
Giaura is supported by ESA Business Incubation Centre Noordwijk to develop a small CO2 capture demonstrator.
Project: The Giaura System – atmospheric CO2-capture
Giaura will use an ESA's CO2-sorbent recycle technology in their CO2-capture system. The sorbent is extremely porous and has a binding energy just high enough to capture the CO2-molecules, but not so high that it will make it too energy-costly to remove the CO2 again in the regeneration process.
The sorbent has a long lifetime and can be regenerated many times, for re-use, without losing its performance. The key issues for Giaura's CO2-capture system are ensuring a high-quality CO2 supply and making the system energy-efficient.
The primary target areas for the system will be the greenhouse sector, chemical companies and possibly other novel fields such as the cement industry.
Giaura plan to sell individual CO2-capture plants which then can be tailored to meet the customers' specific needs and maintained by Giaura.
The advantages for the user will be an independent supply of CO2 of high purity which over time will lead to lower cost. Ancillary benefits of using such a system could also include tax benefits from governments for using a clean technology and reducing CO2 emissions.
With the CO2-capture system, Giaura proposes a more environmentally friendly method of producing CO2. In the long term, the method could also be a solution to sequester atmospheric CO2 in products such as cement or in a future process of turning atmospheric CO2 into green fuels.
Ultimately, the Giaura system could help in address the global climate change problem. The method of direct atmospheric CO2 capture could be an element in a climate change mitigation plan especially if more applications for CO2 use are developed.
From space to industry
Giaura will use the technology developed by ESA to recycle carbon dioxide (CO2) in a spacecraft cabin. This is done by using a specially tailored sorbent to capture the CO2.
ESA Business Incubation
The start-up company Giaura is hosted at the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Noordwijk, The Netherlands, initially to develop a small demonstrator. As part of the incubation programme, Giaura receives funding to develop the technical and IPR sides of the business as well as getting access to ESA's testing equipment and expertise,
During the incubation period Giaura will be testing a CO2 sorbent under atmospheric conditions to characterise its performance. The company will also be working on a system design that can be implemented on the market, as well a conducting a more in depth study of the CO2 market as well as of other novel applications.
Max Beaumont, Managing Director
Tel: +31(0)71 565 7733
Anthony Thirkettle, Co-founder
ESA BIC Noordwijk office:
ESTEC - mb026
PO Box 299
2200 AG Noordijwk ZH
Tel: +31(0)71 565 7733
Fax: +31(0)71 565 6635
Last update: 16 July 2011