Capture6, a direct air capture startup, and Palmdale Water District (PWD) announced they plan to build a joint pilot facility to produce freshwater resources and simultaneously increase carbon removal in California. The facility, named Pure Water Antelope Valley Demonstration Facility which includes Capture6’s Project Monarch, will be the first fully integrated water management and carbon dioxide (CO₂) removal facility of its kind. This partnership will provide an opportunity to engage surrounding communities and to deliver additional co-benefits, such as green jobs and economic development, in the future.
“We’re excited to complement PWD’s cutting-edge water treatment project with our technology to help alleviate the impacts of climate change on Palmdale. Our technology can do much more than just remove carbon from the air and this partnership will allow us to bring this synergistic approach to scale and meet the urgency of the climate crisis,” said Dr. Ethan Cohen-Cole, CEO and co-founder of Capture6.
PWD covers a growing urban area in Los Angeles County that is preparing for its population’s future water needs. PWD is building a demonstration facility to validate its water treatment system. Capture6 will co-locate the pilot carbon removal facility, Project Monarch, within the PWD facility to showcase the ability to boost water recovery and remove atmospheric CO₂ in an integrated process. The demonstration facility will feature a visitor center to provide educational resources for the public to learn about PWD’s advanced water purification process and Capture6’s cutting-edge process.
“With Capture6, there will be zero discharge of brine,” said PWD Engineering Manager Scott Rogers. “This provides us with a lot of resiliencies. It looks like our savings will be about 20% to 40% for the lifetime of the cost of the project.”
Project Monarch is a two-phase project with the ultimate ambition to develop a large-scale commercial facility pending community support and successful outcomes from the demonstration facility. In the second phase, Project Monarch can recover more than 50% of the input brine as freshwater, while removing CO₂ from the atmosphere. Capture6 seeks to demonstrate large-scale carbon removal as soon as possible, not just decades into the future.
Water scarcity is exacerbated by climate change and threatens local economies, jobs, and livelihoods. One of the most recent examples is the shrinking Colorado River which prompted the Biden administration to propose unprecedented cuts in water supplies to California, Arizona and Nevada, reducing the water delivered to these states by as much as one-quarter. Capture6’s approach can be replicated anywhere in the US and around the world to deliver high-value environmental and financial outcomes: pure water for agricultural uses and consumption and affordable carbon removal.