Back to Top
Skip to main content
NETL Carbon Dioxide Removal Expert Highlights Direct Air Capture Hub Opportunities
DOE is investing $3.5 billion for the development of four domestic regional DAC Hubs.

DOE is investing $3.5 billion for the development of four domestic regional DAC Hubs.

NETL’s Andy Jones, technology manager for the Lab’s Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Program, shared details of how the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) intends to kick-start a nationwide network of large-scale carbon removal sites using direct air capture (DAC) technology to address legacy carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution and complement rapid emissions reductions.  

DAC is a process that separates CO2 from the air. The greenhouse gas can then be safely and permanently stored deep underground or converted into useful carbon-containing products such as concrete that prevent its release back into the atmosphere. Widespread deployment of DAC and other innovative technologies that capture emissions are key to combatting the climate crisis and reinforcing America’s global competitiveness in the zero-carbon economy of the future.

Andy Jones
NETL’s Andy Jones shared details on regional DAC Hub oppertunities during a webinar.

Jones presented information during a webinar hosted by gener8tor, a startup accelerator and venture capital firm that received funding through the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pre-Commercial Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize.

He began his panel presentation by describing the pathways DOE has outlined for CO2 removal in its Carbon Negative Shot, an all-hands-on-deck call for innovation in CO2 removal pathways that will capture the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and store it at gigaton scales for less than $100 per net metric ton of carbon dioxide-equivalent.

“Carbon Negative Shot’s key performance elements will guide a responsible industry that is responsive to the climate crisis, such that multiple true, durable removal pathways can be deployed at their most affordable cost at the scale required to address the climate crisis,” Jones said.

Jones went on to talk about NETL’s new DAC Center, which is currently operational at material scale for novel material assessment. The facility will feature modular-scale activities such as flexible reactor systems later this year and prototype-scale bays for developer-built skids in early 2025.

“We are also making major contributions toward further DAC development through external partnerships funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Jones said. “DOE is investing $3.5 billion for the development of four domestic regional DAC Hubs. We announced 21 project selections in August 2023 to cultivate a just and sustainable DAC industry through support for a diversity of technologies and business models that integrate meaningful, two-way community engagement to guide DAC Hub development.”

Jones took questions from participants and talked about additional CDR funding opportunities, including DAC prize competitions and the Carbon Negative Shot Pilots FOA released February 12.

Other panelist in the webinar included representatives from the Prairie Research Institute (PRI), which is affiliated with the University of Illinois and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. PRI is a leader in DAC research focused on developing efficient and affordable capture methods, scaling them up for real-world use and ensuring responsible implementation.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By using its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.