DOE Sets Up $Multimillion Direct Air Capture Fund

DOE Sets Up $Multimillion Direct Air Capture Fund
This funding opportunity announcement will facilitate engineering studies of advanced DAC systems capable of removing 5,000 tons of CO2 per year from the air.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $14.5 million in available funding to leverage existing low-carbon energy to scale-up direct air capture (DAC) technology combined with reliable carbon storage.

This funding opportunity announcement will facilitate engineering studies of advanced DAC systems capable of removing 5,000 tons of CO2 per year from the air, according to the DOE, which highlighted that this is the equivalent of electricity used by more than 900 homes in the United States for one year.

The studies will provide detailed information on the operation of these systems and potential investment costs that will allow DOE to accelerate research and development for existing DAC technologies, co-located with domestic low-carbon thermal energy sources, such as nuclear power plants, geothermal resources and industrial plants, the DOE noted.

“We must deploy multiple approaches, such as emerging direct air capture technology, to address issues with difficult to decarbonize industries such as planes, ships, and farming equipment,” the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, said in an organization statement.

“With president Biden’s largest-ever proposed investment in carbon removal and DOE investments to accelerate the carbon removal of current sectors by using low carbon energy, this administration is taking significant steps to tackle the climate crisis, at home and abroad,” Granholm added in the statement.

DAC is a carbon dioxide removal approach which separates carbon dioxide from ambient air, the DOE highlights on its website. The separated CO2 can then be permanently stored deep underground or converted into products, according to the DOE, which noted that DAC is considered a growing and necessary field that still requires significant investments to create a cost-effective and economically viable technology that can be deployed at scale in the commercial CO2 market.

Advancing the deployment of DAC approaches is critical to combatting the current climate crisis and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the DOE, which noted that this was a key priority for the Biden-Harris administration.

On October 15, the DOE announced $20 million in funding to four projects working to accelerate the regional deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). The projects, which represent all four corners of the country, are referred to as DOE’s Regional Initiatives to Accelerate CCUS Deployment and are designed to identify and address regional storage and transportation challenges facing the commercial deployment of CCUS.

On October 6, the DOE announced $45 million in funding for 12 projects to advance point-source carbon capture and storage technologies that can capture at least 95 percent of carbon dioxide emissions generated from natural gas power and industrial facilities. Back in August, the DOE announced $24 million in funding for nine research projects to explore and develop new methods of capturing and storing carbon from the air.

The mission of the DOE is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions, the organization’s website states. 

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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