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direct air capture

Capture6 in Action: How Ethan Cohen-Cole and his team remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

By Tech in Action

Ethan Cohen-Colen recognises that no silver bullet will solve the climate crisis. It was this mentality that spurred him to co-found Capture6 in 2021. Now as CEO of the direct air capture company, Ethan draws on 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, academic and economist to deliver scalable climate mitigation solutions.

Can you introduce yourself and explain why you founded Capture6?

I am Ethan Cohen-Cole and in 2021 I co-founded Capture6 with our President, Luke Shors. We understand that a radical reduction of carbon dioxide emissions was essential if humanity was to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. 

However, we also recognise that every carbon-emitting activity cannot be easily – or possibly – stopped straightaway. To reach net zero, we need to complement reduction efforts with technologies that remove residual and historical emissions from the atmosphere. And this is why Luke and I started Capture6. 

We see three significant gaps in the carbon removal market that need to be addressed if we are to make a meaningful impact on the climate crisis:

  1. A relatively immature voluntary market poses a challenge to the immediate growth of the tech-based removals industry;
  2. There is little evidence of sufficient voluntary demand for >$500 per tonne of CO2 at the scale required to address the climate crisis; and
  3. An insufficient focus awareness around the tools of carbon removal to drive decarbonisation.

In recognition of these gaps, Capture6 is developing projects that are commercially viable today, at affordable price points. By ensuring our project economics make sense in the current market conditions, Capture6 can drive decarbonisation now, and until the global commitment to carbon reduction intensifies and a more robust carbon market for tech-based removal credits potentially emerges.

Could you explain the problem Capture6 seeks to solve?

To avoid the worst global climate change scenarios, it is vital to reduce humanity’s emission of greenhouse gases. Still, as underscored by the UN’s IPCC lead author, Heleen De Coninck, we will also have to do negative emissions or carbon dioxide removal in the second half of this century to ensure a safe and stable climate. 

Through its direct air capture technology, Capture6 offers permanent, irreversible carbon removal that complements a rapid curtailment of new, anthropogenic emissions. At the same time, we also address the growing global demand for water and increasing drive for industrial decarbonisation. 

But our technology does more than remove carbon from the air. Our facilities help industries decarbonise by capturing point-source CO2 emissions; they produce fresh water and create green hydrogen, lithium, and other industrial inputs. Because of these potential integrations with other industrial processes, Capture6’s technology turns carbon removal from a costly stand-alone proposition into a viable solution that enables widespread decarbonisation. We are focused on a socially just, environmental transition.

Let’s get technical: How does your product work?

Capture6 has developed a proprietary Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology that uses a liquid sorbent to capture carbon dioxide from ambient air (AKA atmospheric air in its natural state). 

This technique involves splitting salt through electrochemical processes which produces a base and an acid. The base absorbs CO2 from the air, forming carbonates that are stored long-term. 

As I mentioned before, our technology also boasts additional features, including the production of fresh water, the ability to operate at ambient temperatures for renewable energy compatibility, and a once-through process for continuous solvent creation and carbon dioxide sequestration. 

The technology is versatile, allowing various input and output configurations, and it integrates with multiple industries. Capture6 generates several revenue streams, including freshwater, green chemicals and carbon dioxide capture-related revenues.

Could you share a story of Capture6’s success?

We are proud to have announced three, different decarbonisation projects on three continents. Our plan is to grow to a gigaton scale as we expand our global project pipeline. 

Our first project – Project Monarch – is based in Southern California. It is part of Palmdale Water District’s Pure Water Antelope Valley Demonstration Facility (PWD), which will be the first fully integrated water management and CO2 removal facility of this nature. We are proud to be able to estimate that the full-scale project will save the PWD between 20 and 40 percent on the lifetime costs of their new water management facility.

Next, we have Project Wallaby which is the product of our partnership with Pilot Energy Limited. This partnership will assess the integration of Capture6’s direct air capture and water recovery technology into the Mid West Clean Energy Project – a model decarbonisation initiative for Australia.

Project Octopus will be a first-of-its-kind facility for water recovery and carbon removal using a seawater desalination plant. In addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Project Octopus will generate green chemicals, including domestically produced, low-carbon alternatives for heavy industries in Korea that currently depend on imported products.

And finally, what’s next for Capture6?

Project Monarch is the first step in our ambition to get direct air capture to a gigaton scale and we plan to break ground on this project in the second quarter of 2024. For Project Octopus and Project Wallaby, we expect this to occur between late 2024 and early 2025. 

From a technological standpoint, we recently received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy to finetune our cooling tower design, a key element of our technical process. This enhanced tower design – Absorption Unit Reactor for Ambient Air (AURA) – will make our direct air capture process more efficient and less energy-intensive per tonne of carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere. We look forward to further optimising our technology through research collaborations.

Be it with companies addressing their net zero and water positivity goals, or with municipalities recovering more freshwater for their constituents, we look forward to developing even more partnerships around the globe. 



Disclaimer: Respira International has announced its intention to purchase direct air capture credits from Capture6. Read more here.

Contact Respira

PRESS RELEASE: Respira announces intention to purchase up to 50,000 carbon removal credits from Capture6

By News

Press release: 29th November 2023

  • Expanding its global carbon removal and reduction initiatives, Respira adds the first direct air capture (DAC) project to its portfolio


LONDON, UK – 29 November – Respira, an impact-driven carbon finance business, has announced its intention to purchase up to 50,000 direct air capture (DAC) carbon credits from Capture6, a water-positive carbon removal company.

This will be Respira’s first investment in direct air capture technology and represents an expansion of its engineered carbon removals portfolio, following the signing of an MOU with BECCS (Bioenergy Carbon Capture & Storage) pioneer, Drax, as the business builds on its market leading nature-based portfolio. 

Ana Haurie, CEO of Respira commented: “The voluntary carbon market is going to be vital if we are to tackle the climate crisis and we must use all of the tools at our disposal. This new agreement enhances our portfolio of nature-based projects that are reducing carbon emissions today, with an exciting new technological solution that will be an important part of removing carbon from the atmosphere into the future.”  

This pre-purchase will support Capture6’s groundbreaking project in the United Arab Emirates, where world leaders will meet later this month for COP28 in Dubai. Capture6’s technology integrates direct air capture while generating freshwater and has the potential to eliminate the disposal of excess brine into the fragile marine environment.

Capture6’s technology can deliver significant additional decarbonization associated with green industrial chemical production. The processes can operate at ambient temperature, without any need for thermal energy, so the process can run on 100% renewable energy. This enables Capture6’s technology to yield high net negativity for carbon removal and drives scalability and cost efficiency. Given these synergies between desalination, carbon removal, and decarbonization, the UAE represents a unique opportunity for Capture6 to demonstrate the full potential of its technology in delivering impactful climate solutions to the world. 

The CEO of Capture6, Dr. Ethan Cohen-Cole, expressed his enthusiasm about this offtake agreement: “Our partnership with Respira marks a pivotal step in realizing our vision of scalable, sustainable solutions for carbon removal. Together, we are not only mitigating the impacts of climate change but also pioneering innovations that contribute to the long-term well-being of our planet.”

United Arab Emirates could remove ~158 million tons of atmospheric CO2 by incorporating Capture6’s technology into its existing desalination facilities. Capture6’s innovative process has the added advantage of increasing the freshwater production capacity of existing seawater desalination plants by up to 50%. This industry promises significant economic growth and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in the country.

The pre-purchase of CDR credits by Respira shows clear support for Capture’s goal to decarbonize industries while at the same time reducing emissions and increasing freshwater supplies. Global temperatures have already risen 1.2°C from pre-industrial levels due to burning fossil fuels. According to the Paris Agreement, we need to keep global warming under 1.5°C to avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Reaching that target is no longer possible by reducing emissions alone, a fact highlighted in the latest IPCC report. Permanent and irreversible carbon removal must be deployed at unprecedented speed and scale.



About Respira

Respira International is an impact-driven carbon finance business. Respira operates with an innovative offtake and profit share model which reinvests back into project stakeholders.  Respira’s high-quality carbon credits allow corporations and financial institutions to mitigate their environmental impact. Respira channels private capital into climate solutions ensuring long-term relationships with trusted carbon project developers that enable its clients to to build sustainable, climate-positive businesses and portfolios. Respira’s team combines deep and varied experience working in global financial markets with a robust understanding of carbon project development in leading international conservation organisations.

For further information, please visit

About Capture6

Capture6 is a water-positive carbon removal company based in California and New Zealand leveraging its technology to support climate resilience and industrial decarbonization. The company develops and commercializes highly scalable approaches to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Capture6 is pioneering an approach that can be deployed today by repurposing existing industrial-scale technologies. Additionally, when coupled with desalination facilities, Capture6 can recover over 50% of freshwater from desalination waste brine for drinking and industrial purposes in the process of removing CO₂. This creates a meaningful synergy between carbon removal and water security. Learn more at