Eco Voice Q & A: Luke Shors, President & Co-Founder, Capture6

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Luke Shors, President & Co-Founder, Capture6


As Co-Founder and President of Capture6, Dr. Luke Shors has built an aggressively scalable framework for direct air capture technology deployment to avoid the worst scenarios of global warming, creating freshwater in the process. Dr. Shors is a researcher, consultant, and innovator whose professional interests span health, energy, education and technology. Dr. Shors has worked in over twenty countries with a range of multi-lateral and bi-lateral clients including the World Bank, OECD, UNICEF and USAID. He has co-founded two start-ups prior to Capture6. Dr. Shors writes broadly on issues in science. His dissertation was on analogical reasoning in science.

To provide insights into carbon capture / water recovery in Australia, Tim Langdon, publisher of Eco Voice, had the pleasure of facilitating a Q & A with Luke Shors, President & Co-Founder, Capture6.

Q1. What is water-positive carbon removal?

Water-positive carbon removal refers to carbon removal processes that create additional freshwater while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For example, Capture6 offers water-positive carbon removal by removing carbon from the atmosphere through direct air capture (DAC) while simultaneously recovering freshwater in the process. We do this by partnering with water management facilities.

We are able to do this because our DAC technology requires saltwater to create its carbon capture solvent. By partnering with water treatment facilities and repurposing existing industrial-scale technologies, we can recover over 50% of freshwater from their brine effluent for drinking and industrial purposes while capturing CO₂ and eliminating waste brine in the process.

Q2. What technology is used in the process?

Capture6 has developed a proprietary DAC technology that uses a liquid sorbent to capture carbon dioxide from ambient air. The process involves splitting salt through electrochemical processes, producing a base and an acid. The base absorbs CO 2 from the air, forming carbonates for long-term storage. Noteworthy features include the production of fresh water from wastewater, operation 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. With this technology, we are able to generate several revenue streams, including freshwater, green chemicals and carbon dioxide capture-related revenues.

Q3. Why is water-positive carbon removal important in terms of sustainability?

As our world evolves, so does the magnitude of stress we apply to natural resources like freshwater. The Global Commission on the Economics of Water reported in 2023 that global freshwater supply will outstrip demand by 40% in 2030. Water and energy are intertwined in that energy production requires water and water treatment requires energy. The stresses on our global resources exacerbated by climate change are interconnected — and so are their solutions.

Increased freshwater supply can reinforce drought resilience, made easier by infrastructural facilitators like desalination and wastewater treatment. The integration of carbon dioxide removal and freshwater production into these facilitators can support this increase in drought resilience. In the same vein, this carbon dioxide removal integration can lower the energy demands of the entire water treatment process through inherent technological

Additionally, existing brine disposal methods typically involve discharging brine to sewers, surface water, injection wells, evaporation ponds or the ocean, all of which come with associated expenses and environmental consequences. Using commercially proven technologies, Capture6 converts the salt from this brine and permanently removes CO₂ from the atmosphere. In doing so, we return pure water to the system that otherwise would
have disposed of it at a lower cost of production than a standard water treatment system’s output.

In water-scarce communities, the process of both removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and creating freshwater can improve quality of life, job availability and public health. This synergy is possible all over the globe. Wherever there is water scarcity, there is a need for increased water availability — particularly as we will see water security worsen with the intensifying impacts of climate change.

CPT 6 – Monarch diagram

Q4. How do you measure the outcomes and benefits?

We can measure the outcomes of water-positive carbon removal through the amount of CO 2 that is removed from the atmosphere and the amount of water that is recovered for use in industry or communities. In Project Monarch’s full-scale capacity, for example, we will enable approximately 50% water recovery from our partner water treatment facility’s effluent brine while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Our DAC process also operates on circular economy principles. By removing atmospheric CO2, restoring freshwater, and generating green chemicals that can further reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, it presents a multifaceted strategy to drive widespread decarbonization.

Q5. What are some of the issues facing water-positive carbon removal?

Water demand is a pressing issue, but what we often don’t realize is the magnitude of GHG emissions attributed to the global municipal water and wastewater sectors. In a recent article, Emerald Technology Ventures wrote that the global municipal water and wastewater sectors emit an estimated 800M+ metric tons of CO 2 per year, more than the global shipping and aviation sectors.

Yet as a climate lever, water receives little attention compared with nearly every other sector. Finding synergies at the intersection of carbon removal and water production is key to advancing global water accessibility. At Capture6, we are approaching this issue head-on. The water industry will no doubt only grow in size as global water demands magnify. We can help decarbonize the water sector by using our DAC technology to recover freshwater and remove carbon from the atmosphere at the same time. This way, more water can reach more people with fewer negative impacts on the climate.

Additionally, some carbon removal technologies have technological barriers to scale. Capture6’s innovative business model allows for rapid scaling. Our technology is made up of existing commercial-grade equipment which we configure for DAC. This allows for our technology to operate agnostically and to integrate into existing industrial processes and plants. As a result, we do not face the long deployment timelines or uncertainties associated with the development of new technologies.

Q6. How can industry and governments be encouraged to adopt water-positive carbon removal as a solution?

In the US, carbon removal is being encouraged with government incentives such as the tax credits like 45Q available under the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). In Europe, these levers are also being implemented, most recently with an EU-wide certification scheme for carbon removals. The fastest way to adopt water-positive carbon removal at scale is through strategic investments and partnerships between carbon
removal and water industries.

Q7. How can publications, such as Eco Voice, play their part in promoting sustainability?

Publications can promote sustainability and carbon removal in particular by continuing to shine a light on the fruitful intersections of opportunities between industries. The problems instigated by climate change will grow more numerous and intertwined with every passing year. It is critical that we maximize our ability to address these problems with efficiency. This does not mean searching for a one size fits all solution or silver bullet, but there is great value in finding overlaps between industry and community issues so that more than one problem can be solved simultaneously. There are countless industrial intersections to be identified by sustainability motivated journalism.


First published in 2003, Eco Voice is your go-to publication for sustainability news in Australia. Eco Voice prides itself as an independent news platform with a clear focus on sustainability, with articles coming from a diverse range of contributors – all levels of government, corporations, not-for-profits, community groups, small to medium sized businesses, universities, research organisations, together with input from international sources. Eco Voice values community, conservation and commerce. Eco Voice is a media partner of the prestigious Australian Banksia Sustainability Awards – The Peak Sustainability Awards.

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


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