"A half-hour’s drive from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, one happens upon a scene straight out of a science fiction movie: Plumes of white steam billow above the Hellisheiði volcanic region. The air is suffused with the unmistakable stench of sulfur — several thermal springs, their mineral-rich waters a favorite of local bathers, are nearby. The rays of a waning sun are no match for the thick cloud cover that hangs over the rough terrain on a crisp early autumn day.It is here that the future and the present collide in a structure about two stories high. This is the Orca Plant, the world’s largest facility for capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air and storing it deep underground. The steam we see is being released into the sky from geothermal drilling sites. The captured CO2 is mixed with water and injected into those holes in the ground.The Orca Plant, built, owned, and operated by the Swiss company Climeworks, kicked into whirring, carbon-sucking life last month, fueled by geothermal energy from Iceland’s ON Power. While Orca is not the first of its kind in the world, its size and potential have sparked expectations for a revolution in CO2 capture and storage, as well as hope for our rapidly warming planet."
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