TRACY, Calif. - Northern California made history on Thursday with the opening of a groundbreaking facility in Tracy — a small step that signifies a giant leap for mankind.
The Heirloom Facility, the nation's inaugural "direct air capture CO2 removal facility" operates entirely on renewable energy, embodying a cutting-edge plan dedicated to mitigating the impacts of global warming and climate change.
Since the Industrial Age, humans have released 2 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, with an additional 100 million tons daily. Despite efforts such as electric vehicles and industrial emission controls, the existing carbon levels are too substantial to reverse.
"This facility is the closest thing we have to a time machine because it can turn back the clock on climate change by removing the CO2 we've already spewed into the atmosphere," said Heirloom CEO Shashank Samala.
Heirloom, a San Francisco-based startup, utilizes readily available, safe, and cost-effective limestone rocks composed of silt and organic matter.
According to Heirloom Senior Executive Noah McQueen, these rocks, a product of nature, can capture millions and eventually billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere within a three-day timeframe — significantly faster than the natural process, taking months to years.
"Permanently capture carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, permanently store it away, and commercially sell those removal credits to industry and accelerate our path to net-zero," explained Heirloom Executive Vikrum Aiyer.
Funding for the plant came from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bi-partisan Infrastructure Act. Notably, Heirloom's CEO, Shashank Samala, an American-educated immigrant, played a crucial role in bringing the innovative facility to life. Raised in India, Samala witnessed the effects of polluted air on health, reinforcing his commitment to addressing environmental challenges.
"Countless families have dreamed of coming to this country, families like my own," said Samala.