U.S. Department of Energy Invests $14 Million to Scale Up Direct Air Capture and Storage Technology, Coupled to Low-Carbon Energy Resources

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Geothermal Technologies Office


April 14, 2022

U.S. Department of Energy Invests $14 Million to Scale Up Direct Air Capture and Storage Technology, Coupled to Low-Carbon Energy Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $14 million in funding for five front-end engineering design (FEED) studies that will leverage existing zero- or low-carbon energy to supply direct air capture (DAC) projects, combined with dedicated and reliable carbon storage. DAC is a process that separates carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air. When the separated CO2 is safely and permanently stored deep underground or converted to be used in value-added products like concrete, DAC is part of a carbon dioxide removal approach. The selected studies will advance the evaluation of DAC technology coupled to durable storage—both of which could play a critical role in conjunction with aggressive decarbonization in combatting the climate crisis and achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“These studies lay a critical foundation for technology demonstrations that will lead to responsible, effective, and affordable deployment of direct air capture as we seek to address hard to decarbonize sectors in addition to legacy impacts of fossil fuel production and use,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of FECM Dr. Jennifer Wilcox. “Looking forward, resources authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make it possible for us to prove these technologies out at scale and accelerate their deployment while providing good-paying jobs as our nation continues its transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

The selected studies will provide a better understanding of system costs and performance, as well as business case options for existing DAC technologies coupled to durable storage that are capable of removing a minimum of 5,000 tonnes per year net CO2 from the air and are co-located with domestic zero- or low-carbon thermal energy sourced from geothermal or nuclear power plants and low-grade heat from industrial facilities.

This funding opportunity was a collaborative effort among DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), Office of Nuclear Energy, and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office. The selected projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and will support FECM’s Carbon Dioxide Removal and Conversion programs.   

Read the full press release, which includes project descriptions.

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