PROJECT

Community engagement

What is Project Bison?

Project Bison is an industrial development in Wyoming that will use direct air capture (DAC) machines to filter excess carbon dioxide from that air and permanently store it in geologic features underground. Since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that mixes very quickly in the air, removing it in Wyoming helps the entire world address climate change.


Project Bison is the largest DAC project yet announced. It represents the birth of an entirely new cleantech industry in the U.S.

Our commitment to Wyoming
is built on the following pillars:

Transparency

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Our goal is to have open, clear, and prompt communications with the community.

To that end, we want everyone in the county to understand how direct air capture (DAC) with permanent geological sequestration works--including why it's safe, secure, and permanent. We also want to fully communicate the economic opportunity related to building an atmospheric carbon removal industry together.

To achieve these goals, we will be holding town hall events where we'll share, with full openness and transparency, what we're doing throughout the entire development and construction process. At these events, we'll answer your questions and publish the answers for anyone that can't make it in person. 

Dependability

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We seek to be a valued partner and employer in the community for decades to come.

To make sure we're aligned with local constituents at every stage of our project, we've convened a community engagement board that includes representatives from state and local government, local businesses, state and community academia, and NGOs.

We fully understand that safety and security is of paramount importance, but we also know that good jobs are critical for the local economy and for keeping young people from moving elsewhere. Our goal is to build a new atmospheric carbon removal industry that not only addresses climate change, but provides the type of well-paying jobs that are in high demand.

Preservation

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Our goal is to ensure the preservation of Wyoming's wildlife and natural beauty while building a new atmospheric carbon removal industry.

To do so, we've engaged with organizations that seek to protect wildlife and other local environmental resources of the state. We welcome any feedback from the community as we build this new industry in a way that values economic growth, but not at the expense of the environment.

It's worth mentioning that one of our core values at CarbonCapture is "to preserve the environment for future generations by leveraging science, technology, and human innovation to decarbonize the atmosphere." That ethos is reflected on how we think about our impact in Wyoming, too.

Press coverage of Project Bison

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State has high hopes for huge carbon capture project

CASPER STAR TRIBUNE | Wyoming leaders have made plain, for years, that they’re courting carbon capture developers in an effort to save the state’s coal industry.
CarbonCapture Inc. Announces Five Megaton Direct Air Capture and Storage Project in Wyoming

 

THEY CHEYENNE POST | Project Bison to be the first massively scalable deployment of DAC in the U.S. and the first to use Class VI wells for permanent CO2 storage.

Direct air capture project coming to state

WYOMING BUSINESS REPORT | Direct air capture project called Project Bison is coming to Wyoming. It is described as a partnership between DAC system developer CarbonCapture Inc. and carbon dioxide sequestration operator Frontier Carbon Solutions.
Wyoming will soon be home to the world’s largest carbon removal facility

FAST COMPANY | A new project aims to suck 5 million metric tons of CO2 a year out of the air by 2030.
The world’s largest carbon removal project yet is headed for Wyoming

THE VERGE | Massive endeavors to pull CO2 out of the air are starting to get off the ground in the US

How to engage with us

Email projectbison@carboncapture.com or join us at one of our upcoming events.
EVENT | TBD

Town hall event for Sweetwater County

Residents of Sweetwater County are invited to join us for a virtual town hall event to learn more about Project Bison. Check back for the date or sign up below to be notified about this and future community events.

WEBINAR | Time TBA

Community engagement webinar with our CEO​

CarbonCapture CEO and CTO, Adrian Corless will host a virtual Q&A open to all residents of Sweetwater County.

About direct air capture

Learn more about the technology behind Project Bison and how direct air capture can help fight climate change.

Q&A from town hall event

On October 5, 2022, CarbonCapture Inc. and Frontier Carbon Solutions held a town hall event in Rock Springs, WY to answer questions about Project Bison. Invitations were sent to all households in Sweetwater County and an advertisement was placed in the online publication Sweetwater Now. The presentation can be downloaded here.

 



Business model questions


Has this successfully been done anywhere else? What were the results?

Climeworks, a Swiss company, has built a direct air capture and storage facility in Iceland. Named Orca, the plant is capable of removing roughly 4,000 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 per year. The sale of forward carbon removal credits has largely financed the plant. As a result, Climeworks is currently building a new plant with capacity of 40,000 tonnes per year. To the best of our knowledge, no safety or other issues have emerged to cause concern in the local community.

How would you compare and contrast sustainable practices versus carbon capture?

Our view is that individuals and organizations must seek to implement sustainable practices as broadly and deeply as possible. Carbon removal solutions, like DAC, are not a substitute for sustainable practices—they’re a supplement needed to address legacy and unavoidable emissions.

In addition to DAC, there are many forms of carbon removal, including reforestation, biochar, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, coastal blue carbon, enhanced mineralization, and soil carbon sequestration. All are likely going to be necessary to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which calls for countries to take concerted climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Note that as part of our carbon removal credit sales, we provide a lifecycle analysis of our operations, i.e., how much carbon do we emit in the process of removing carbon. Right now, we have a 91% efficiency rate; we’re constantly working to improve that ratio.

What are carbon removal credits?

A carbon removal credit is a financial unit representing the removal of one tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere. Carbon removal credits are typically purchased by organizations who seek to offset their residual emissions.

Do you have any plans to sell or produce a product with this carbon or will you just store it?

Project Bison will focus on removing CO2 from the atmosphere and permanently storing it underground.

Do you have any customers lined up? Do you expect your customers to be mostly in-state or out-of-state?

We have signed agreements with resellers Cloverly and Time’s CO2.com. We are negotiating with multiple buyers and reseller of carbon removal credits and will announce these agreements at the appropriate time. Our customers can be anywhere in the world as CO2 quickly drifts through the atmosphere, so we are not removing CO2 limited to emitters in our geographic footprint. Currently, our customers are mostly out-of-state.

As you grow, do you plan to hold any of your own carbon credits for conservation purposes?

We will use some of the carbon removal credits we generate to address our own residual emissions.

How would you compare and contrast sustainable practices versus carbon capture?

Our view is that individuals and organizations must seek to implement sustainable practices as broadly and deeply as possible. Carbon removal solutions, like DAC, are not a substitute for sustainable practices—they’re a supplement needed to address legacy and unavoidable emissions.

In addition to DAC, there are many forms of carbon removal, including reforestation, biochar, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, coastal blue carbon, enhanced mineralization, and soil carbon sequestration. All are likely going to be necessary to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which calls for countries to take concerted climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Note that as part of our carbon removal credit sales, we provide a lifecycle analysis of our operations, i.e., how much carbon do we emit in the process of removing carbon. Right now, we have a 91% efficiency rate; we’re constantly working to improve that ratio.

Financing questions


Who provides your funding?

Our current investors include Wyoming-based group Prime Movers Lab, Idealab Studio, and Mark Benioff’s TIME Ventures.

Who’s going to pay for this project?

Private investors are paying for Project Bison.

How dependent are you on government subsidies outside of 45Q tax credits to get you going?

Outside of 45Q tax credits, we are not currently planning on receiving government subsidies for Project Bison.

Does the viability of your project depend on the tax credit? Are you still viable in the event of an administration change?

Tax credits are important to Project Bison as they provide funding for the early stages of the project when costs are relatively high. Over time, as capacity increases and technology evolves, we expect that costs will come down to the point that we are viable without subsidies. We believe that the 45Q tax credit provisions that benefit Project Bison enjoy bipartisan support. Note that the first enhancements to 45Q occurred in 2018, when Republicans had the majority in both the House and Senate; the Inflation Reduction Act, with further enhancements to 45Q, was passed this year when Democrats had the majority in both the House and Senate.

You’re going to do a second round of investing – is there any availability for local investment?

Yes, there may be opportunities to participate for accredited investors. Please contact us if interested.

Have you set aside money for surface remediation if the project fails (e.g., for equipment reclamation)?

We have set aside funds for remediation in the unlikely event we prematurely cease operations. These funds would be used for removal and salvage of all processing units, and the reclamation of site and utility right-of-way.

The benefit of a modular approach is that we will deploy gradually, and therefore are able to de-risk the project before large amounts of machinery is installed.

Location / impact questions


What is the precise location in Sweetwater County?

The closest city is Granger, WY.

Will this be on federal (BLM) or private land?

The project will be on private land.

Will the area surrounding the facility be closed to hunters and recreation seekers?

This will be on land intended for industrial purposes. We recognize the importance of recreational land in Wyoming, and will work through our community engagement initiatives to ensure siting is done on land that is not used for such purposes.

What are the plans for the impact this will have on wildlife in the area? Will this disturb or block migration corridors? Will this disturb any sage grouse leks?

We are collaborating with the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish and the Wyoming chapter of The Nature Conservancy to ensure that we don’t block wildlife migration corridors. The Nature Conservancy has already done valuable work mapping animal and bird pathways and nesting areas; they have given us access to this information so we can avoid these areas.

Have there been any studies on how this affects wildlife?

This project will be the first of its kind in the US, so there are no current studies available. We will, however, continue to work closely with the Department of Game and Fish and local NGOs to gauge any impacts and incorporate any ancillary research. The effect on wildlife will be a priority as we scale. Given our modular nature we can separate units to minimize any disruptions to animal migratory corridors.

What kind of impact will this have on our soil and our people? Have you done any testing specifically within Wyoming?

Generally, the scientific community does not believe that DAC-based atmospheric CO2 removal poses a significant environmental risk. Note that because of the very rapid diffusion of CO2 in the atmosphere, there is very little impact on local CO2 levels. This report from the World Resources Institute shares broader perspectives on risks associated with direct air capture.

Note: Our team will start environmental testing in Wyoming and we will update this answer in Q1 2023.

Energy questions


How much power will it take to operate this system and how will that power be generated?

It’s important that our sources of energy are additive and emissions-free. We're currently evaluating renewables and oxy-fueled combustion units that run on natural gas or biomass (where all CO2 is captured and sequestered). Note that our sources of energy don’t need to be in the same location as our DAC units, which provides us with the flexibility to build in low-impact areas.

In the early phases of Project Bison, our power needs will be between 20 and 30 megawatts. By 2030, Project Bison will require over a gigawatt of emissions-free power. Project Bison will build, or contract to build, dedicated energy resources to not impact the existing grid.

How many solar panels and windmills will be involved with this project?

We’re currently exploring several different energy options; our total footprint has not yet been determined.

Are you only going to use renewables that have already been developed?

Project Bison will build, or contract to build, dedicated energy resources to not impact the existing grid.

What about coal?

It’s important to our clients that our sources of energy are emissions-free.

Could rooftop solar cells be an option?

This is an option we are exploring, but in the long-term, rooftop solar alone is unlikely to provide all of the energy Project Bison will need.

Does your process need water?

Our process is expected to use 0.1 ton for every ton of CO2 removed. We’re working on several fronts to improve this ratio:

  • Our initial energy source, oxyfuel combustion, will provide some of the make-up water we need for our process, reducing external water requirements
  • We are designing system improvements that decreases the amount of water lost to the atmosphere
  • We are exploring integrating additional technology (e.g., direct air water capture) that could make us completely water-independent
We understand that Wyoming and other states along the Colorado River have experienced severe water shortages the last few years. Addressing any net water usage is a high priority for our team.

What other secondary industries are needed to support the project?

We will need partners for transportation, installation, and construction.

Direct air capture technology questions


How much power will it take to operate this system and how will that power be generated?

It’s important that our sources of energy are additive and emissions-free. We're currently evaluating renewables and oxy-fueled combustion units that run on natural gas or biomass (where all CO2 is captured and sequestered). Note that our sources of energy don’t need to be in the same location as our DAC units, which provides us with the flexibility to build in low-impact areas.

In the early phases of Project Bison, our power needs will be between 20 and 30 megawatts. By 2030, Project Bison will require over a gigawatt of emissions-free power. Project Bison will build, or contract to build, dedicated energy resources to not impact the existing grid.

What does your process involve?

Direct air capture is a technology that uses chemical reactions to pull carbon dioxide out of air. When air moves over these chemicals, they selectively react with and trap CO2, allowing the other components of air to pass through. Our technology uses solid sorbents, which are composed of common chemicals that are already in use in other applications today. Once carbon dioxide is captured from the atmosphere, heat is applied to release it from the sorbent. Doing so regenerates the sorbent for another capture cycle. The captured CO2 is then injected deep underground for sequestration (via Class VI wells).

Does the process bring in CO2 from other states or just Wyoming?

Carbon dioxide mixes extremely quickly in the atmosphere; the concentration of CO2 in air is roughly 420 parts per million everywhere in the world. That means that if you remove CO2 anywhere in the world, it quickly impacts the whole world. It also means that it’s very difficult to meaningfully lower the concentration of local levels of CO2.

Are you pulling from the ambient air or point source?

Project Bison only removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Our sequestration partner, Frontier Carbon Solutions, is storing carbon dioxide for both Project Bison and point source clients.

Where are your sorbent and modules being manufactured?

Our initial DAC modules are being manufactured in Los Angeles. Our sorbent manufacturer is still confidential.

What chemical sorbent are you using?

The active sorbent is an organic compound known as an amine.

Is your sorbent material hazardous?

Sorbents need to be handled with care. Our sorbents are structured within non-hazardous materials, making them safe for our trained operators to handle.

Sorbents degrade over time with use; their by-products remain sequestered in our systems until disposal.

This report from World Resources Institutes discusses this issue in more depth.

How do you dispose of your sorbent?

The active sorbent is amine. Research shows that burning of inactive components does not pose an environmental concern.

Rigorous scientific research published by Duetz and Bardow in the Journal of Nature Energy supports this conclusion that the sorbent can be disposed in a similar manner to the treatment of spent sorbent from potable water production (municipal incineration).

How long after construction will you recoup the emissions from construction?

We perform a full life cycle analysis on the emissions produced in the process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. This analysis includes construction as well as all other activities, including operations, energy, transportation, etc. This analysis shows an efficiency of approximately 90%, which means that for every 10 days of operation, for example, roughly 1 day is "allocated" to remove the emissions the process.

Sequestration / storage questions


What other secondary industries are needed to support the project?

We will need partners for transportation, installation, and construction.

If the company fails in 5 years and you’re gone, who assumes liability for the well?

Our sequestration partner, Frontier Carbon Solutions (FCS) would be required to close any of their existing wells. Following that work, the DEQ would have to fully sign off on the closure. In addition, as part of their permit application FCS 1) post a bond to address any remediation costs if project operations cease and 2) has taken out an insurance policy for any additional remediation due to CO2 leakages or ceased operations of the injection well.

Will the wells be vertical or horizontal?

Vertical.

What is the plan for any saltwater by-product from the formations?

Work done ahead of the permit application showed that FCS should not encounter any of the pressure restrictions that would cause water by-product uplift. No saltwater by-product is expected.

What happens if there is a membrane issue?

Frontier’s wells are very close together. In the event of a membrane issue, they can transfer flow to an alternative well until any issues have been resolved.

What would happen in the case of an earthquake?

The class VI permit process includes a seismicity study on the planned site. The study showed very low seismicity in the full regions – earthquakes are not expected. In the event of an unplanned issue (e.g., an earthquake resulting in CO2 release), Frontier has been required to take out insurance.

How long will it take the CO2 to mineralize in the formation?

Studies show this could happen within 100 to 1,000 years it for the CO2 to mineralize in this type of formation. See study on the science of mineralization here.

Regardless of mineralization, the CO2 is permanently sequestered in the geological formation.

How much CO2 does this area theoretically hold underground?

A 2014 DoE study suggests that the Wyoming Rock Springs Uplift could potentially store up to 14-17 billion tons of CO2 – study here.

Is there any additional containment for the CO2 subsurface?

There is no additional containment in the subsurface. However, our sequestration partner has chosen robust injection equipment (e.g., chrome casing) to minimize any risks along the sequestration process.

What impact will drilling all the wells have on the natural springs found throughout Sweetwater County?

To receive a Class VI permit, FCS needed to demonstrate with considerable sub-service data that drilling will have absolutely no effect on any groundwater. The formations where CO2 is stored are like oil & gas formations, where the caprocks keep liquid or gas contained. The United States has an incredibly robust legal and regulatory environment related to the citing of Class VI wells that is a model for countries around the world.

Community support questions


How much power will it take to operate this system and how will that power be generated?

It’s important that our sources of energy are additive and emissions-free. We're currently evaluating renewables and oxy-fueled combustion units that run on natural gas or biomass (where all CO2 is captured and sequestered). Note that our sources of energy don’t need to be in the same location as our DAC units, which provides us with the flexibility to build in low-impact areas.

In the early phases of Project Bison, our power needs will be between 20 and 30 megawatts. By 2030, Project Bison will require over a gigawatt of emissions-free power. Project Bison will build, or contract to build, dedicated energy resources to not impact the existing grid.

How many jobs will be created by this project?

By 2030, we expect to have created 200+ long-term operational jobs and have hired hundreds of workers for construction and installation.

We’re currently evacuating multiple locations, including Wyoming, to site a new manufacturing facility. We expect that this facility will employ over 1,000 individuals.

What kind of training do job applicants needs?

We will primarily be looking for plant management, operations and maintenance roles. There will be also be some opportunities for electrical and instrumentation as well as some local engineering roles.

Western Wyoming Community College has several existing programs that fit our future needs, including their Plant Operations and Electrical & Instrumentation Technology Programs that prepare students for manufacturing and other heavy industry jobs. Additionally, the college works with local businesses on specialty programs and certifications as needed. This will be a good fit for our needs, and we will continue to work with the college on expanding options as our needs change and grow.

Besides job creation, how else are you going to support the state?

We seek to be a valued, long-term employer in the state. Further, we intend on paying any appropriate taxes (we are not looking for any special considerations for building our facilities in WY) and participating in the local community

Our community outreach program will include financial and other support for education, workforce development, and environmental conservation.

Additionally, we plan to work with the Southwest Wyoming Manufacturing Partnership which has a history of support and volunteerism in the area.

Will royalties be paid to the state of Wyoming for storing CO2?

Our sequestration partner, Frontier, will be required to pay royalties similar to an oil and gas lease on their operations.

Are you using local engineering and construction services?

We’re looking for local partners who can help us construct Project Bison.

General project questions


How much power will it take to operate this system and how will that power be generated?

It’s important that our sources of energy are additive and emissions-free. We're currently evaluating renewables and oxy-fueled combustion units that run on natural gas or biomass (where all CO2 is captured and sequestered). Note that our sources of energy don’t need to be in the same location as our DAC units, which provides us with the flexibility to build in low-impact areas.

In the early phases of Project Bison, our power needs will be between 20 and 30 megawatts. By 2030, Project Bison will require over a gigawatt of emissions-free power. Project Bison will build, or contract to build, dedicated energy resources to not impact the existing grid.

Why Wyoming where CO2 levels are lower compared to bigger cities?

The concentration of CO2 in air is roughly 420 parts per million everywhere in the world. That’s because carbon dioxide mixes extremely quickly in the atmosphere. That means that if you remove CO2 anywhere in the world, it quickly impacts the whole world. It also means that it’s very difficult to meaningfully lower the concentration of local levels of CO2.

How many acres of land will be included in this project?

This chart describes our land needs for both our DAC modules and projects for energy. Note that:

  • The energy does not need to be co-located with the DAC modules
  • We will start small and grow over time
  • Even at 5 megatons DAC plant only needs about 100 acres

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Who approved this project?

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is responsible for approving Project Bison as well as all Class VI injection wells. Sweetwater County Commissioners are also responsible for certain permitting requirements.

Is this project ready to go or do you have additional hurdles?

Multiple permits are required, including permits to drill and operate Class VI injection wells.