K-water, BKT, and Capture6 announce their strategic partnership to remove CO₂ while recovering freshwater and minimizing brine discharge in South Korea

Partners agreed to build the world’s first-of-its-kind facility for water recovery and carbon removal using a seawater desalination plant

Capture6, a water-positive carbon removal company, announces today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with K-water and BKT to develop a pilot facility in South Korea. The partners agreed to use K-water’s desalination facility and technologies of Capture6 and BKT to capture CO₂, recover freshwater, minimize brine discharge, and extract green chemicals.

K-water, BKT, Capture6 leaders at the MOU signing ceremony

 K-water, a state-owned water utility in South Korea, is constructing the largest desalination facility in the country to supply water to heavy industries in the Daesan Industrial Complex nearby which accounts for a full 40% of South Korea’s petrochemical production. The region has been suffering from water scarcity due to severe droughts and reliance on external water resources. The facility is surrounded by industrial plants producing large volumes of greenhouse gas emissions (17MtCO2e/year). This represents an opportunity for Capture6 to deploy its direct air capture (DAC) technology as well as point-source capture (CCS) to further decarbonize the region.

“As a public institution, we are committed to leading the global carbon neutrality efforts and nurturing the domestic water industry by partnering with the private sector to develop innovative water technologies,” said Dr. Yun, Seog Dae, CEO of K-water.

Desalination and carbon removal facility in Daesan
A mockup of an industrial plant layout for a facility that would desalinate seawater and take carbon dioxide out of the air. Image courtesy of Capture6

The planned facility, which includes Capture6’s Project Octopus, will be the world’s first fully integrated water management and carbon dioxide (CO₂) removal facility using a seawater desalination plant. Project Octopus is a two-phase project with the ultimate ambition to develop a large-scale commercial facility removing up to 500,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year, becoming the largest DAC + CCS + water recovery facility in Asia. 

“This collaboration is a major step forward for Capture6. By pioneering water integrated water management and CO₂ removal facility, this project will significantly contribute to the region’s sustainable future,” said Dr. Ethan Cohen-Cole, CEO and co-founder of Capture6

Capture6 uses saltwater to create its carbon removal solvent. By partnering with water treatment facilities like the one K-water is building, Capture6’s technology can provide affordable carbon removal while increasing the facility’s freshwater yields. Capture6’s system will reduce the environmental harms associated with disposing of excess brine into the ocean, a concern expressed by multiple local groups in the country. The company’s process will also generate green chemicals to further decarbonize K-water’s water management operations and heavy industries such as steelmaking. 

Capture6 Process Diagram

Capture6’s technology not only removes atmospheric CO₂ and restores freshwater but also generates green chemicals like hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonates. Currently, these chemicals are derived from fossil fuels and imported to South Korea. The upcoming facility and its circular economy approach aim to provide a local and sustainable supply of key industrial chemicals. This initiative is in line with South Korea’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Capture6 and South Korean water treatment company BKT signed a strategic cooperation earlier this year. BKT was established in South Korea in 1995 and has subsidiaries in the United States. BKT is a market leader in the water treatment industry offering a broad range of solutions integrating biological wastewater treatment, membrane filtration, and energy-efficient technologies.

About K-Water

K-Water is South Korea’s premier public organization that specializes in water resources management, preventing water disasters and providing clean water through its innovative water management technologies. Additionally, K-water is one of the leading entities around the world in terms of urban planning and digital transformation, equipped with its cutting-edge water technologies. Furthermore, K-water serves as the chair of Asia Water Council, the representative global water platform for addressing Asia’s water issues and enhancing water welfare of the region, the membership of which consists of 152 organizations from 24 countries. 

About BKT

BKT was established in South Korea in 1995 and has subsidiaries in the United States and Vietnam. BKT offers a broad range of solutions integrating biological wastewater treatment, membrane filtration, and energy efficient technologies.


Capture6, press release, 2024-01-16.




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