Carbon dioxide capture company AirCapture and CO2 conversion company OCOchem, together with a number of partnering companies, have won a $2.93 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will help them produce a 2-in-1 carbon capture and conversion installation at partner company Nutrien‘s Fertilizer Operation plant in Kennewick, Wash.
AirCapture manufactures modular carbon capture tech, that can utilise waste heat from production plants. OCOchem on the other hand is more focused on recycling CO2 which with the addition of water and zero-carbon power can be used to come up with formic acid which has a number of uses, including as an electro-fuel.
“Our modular, on-site technology that takes CO2 from the air and puts it directly into our customers’ production processes addresses climate challenges while bringing value to our customers and is a perfect fit for this project with Nutrien,” said Matt Atwood, Founder and CEO of AirCapture, based in Berkeley, Calif.
Todd Brix, Co-Founder and CEO of OCOchem, based in Richland, Wash. points out that almost all production facilities emit waste heat and carbon dioxide. “Every manufacturer that is emitting steam and/or CO2 into the air can, with our collective approach, build facilities to use waste steam to take CO2 out of the air or from their process emissions and use the CO2 to make a valuable platform chemical.”
The DOE’s grant will help the AirCapture and OCOchem put into operation a real-world installation in an active production facility.
The results from the trial will also help everyone involved measure other important factors to deploying CO2 capturing tech. The impact on local clean jobs numbers will be of particular interest, as well as their payroll and tax benefits.
“This process of using industrial waste steam to capture CO2 from the air and converting it to a usable chemical is an energy, atom, and cost-efficient way for many companies to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and products,” Brix said.
AirCapture’s project is one of five winners from the DOE’s support program for direct air capture projects. You can read more about them below.