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U.S. Department of Energy Announces $15 Million in Funding Opportunities for Direct Air Capture Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $15 million in federally funded financial assistance for cost-shared research and development projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002402, Carbon Capture R&D: Bench-Scale Testing of Direct Air Capture Components (TRL 3) and Initial Engineering Design for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Systems from Air (TRL 6).

Since 2001, DOE-FE’s Carbon Capture Program has been identifying and advancing technologies with the goal of removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from point sources such as fossil fuel-based power plants and industrial processes or directly from the atmosphere. The technologies should incur  minimum costs and minimum energy penalties. The Carbon Capture Program aims to leverage this past research in materials, equipment and process development for both current and transformational direct air capture (DAC) technologies. More research is needed to develop efficient processes and components utilizing transformational materials to lower the cost of DAC systems. Project researchers should achieve a better understanding of system costs, performance, and other factors to accelerate development of this climate-critical technology.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects, which will develop lower-cost, scalable technologies for CO2 capture from air and support DOE’s Carbon Capture Program. The FOA focuses on two areas of interest (AOI):

AO1: Bench-Scale Testing of Structured Material Systems or Component Designs (TRL 3) for Optimized Direct Air Capture

Projects under this AOI will support testing and validation of advanced carbon capture structured material systems (e.g., monoliths, laminate structures, membrane bundles or electrodes) or component designs (e.g., air contactors, desorbers or electrochemical cells) under environmentally relevant conditions for DAC. The objective of this bench-scale research and development (R&D) effort is to advance promising structured material systems or component designs for DAC to a sufficient maturity level that can justify their scale-up in a subsequent program.

AO2: Initial Engineering Design of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Systems (TRL 6) for Direct Air Capture

Projects under this AOI will support the completion of an initial design of a commercial-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)-DAC system that separates, stores, or utilizes a minimum of 100,000 tonne/year net CO2 from air. Chosen projects will enable a better understanding of CCUS-DAC system costs, performance and business case options and facilitate a better focus on DAC R&D needs. Applicants under this AOI are highly encouraged to propose teams that consist of both the carbon capture technology developer and partnering organization(s) with demonstrated experience in engineering, procurement, construction, and managing projects of similar size, scope, and complexity.

DOE anticipates selecting up to 8 projects for this FOA. Read more details here.

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to reduce the cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements.