Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $12 million in federal funding for six research and development (R&D) projects that are advancing direct air capture (DAC) technology, a carbon dioxide removal approach that extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the atmosphere. The projects, housed at universities and labs in Arizona, North Carolina, Illinois and Kansas, are creating tools that will increase the amount of CO2 captured by DAC, decrease the cost of materials, and improve the energy efficiency of carbon removal operations. When deployed, this next generation of clean energy technology will help reach the Biden-Harris Administration's goal of a net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Across the U.S., in states like Arizona and North Carolina, brilliant innovators are developing Direct Air Capture technologies that can extract carbon dioxide straight out of the air,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These DOE investments, and the ones we will make with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, are crucial to advancing technology that will help us avoid the worst effects of climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”
DAC technologies can extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere, an important tool to achieving a net-zero economy, yet powering a DAC operation can be costly and energy intensive. The projects selected today will focus on R&D to reduce costs holding back deployment and increase design and operational efficiency to ensure that the removal process is carbon-negative.
The following six projects will be managed by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and will:
Three of the six selected projects will also explore DAC operations in three distinct geographical locations, with varying climates, in an effort to create a first-ever DAC system that can capture 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Currently, no existing DAC system has this CO2 capacity.
The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management funds R&D projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about our programs, visit the Fossil Energy and Carbon Management website or sign up for FECM news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.