CSIRO Launches A $20M Direct Air Capture Research Program CarbonLock

CSIRO Launches A $20M Direct Air Capture Research Program CarbonLock - Carbon Herald
Credit: CSIRO

CSIRO – the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or the Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research, announced on March 8th the launch of CarbonLock, a $20 million research program aimed at creating new innovative solutions to address climate change. 

CarbonLock is one of CSIRO’s programs united under the name Future Science Platforms (FSPs). FSPs are multi-year, multi-disciplinary investments in new and emerging areas of science that could help the world address pressing issues. 

Relevant: CSIRO Will Lead Assessment For Darwin Carbon Capture Hub

The program’s goal is to come up with ways for the nation to create negative emissions technologies (NETs) to remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The program will explore ways to remove CO2 from the air and store it permanently, mainly direct air capture technologies. 

Fossil fuels’ burning is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for approximately 91% of global emissions in 2022. Replacing fossil fuels with clean sources for energy generation is critical if we want to limit the accelerating global warming and its life-threatening consequences. 

Australia is the world’s 14th highest emitter, contributing with 487 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year. That is almost 1.5% of total global emissions that came at 36.8 gigatons of CO2e in 2022.

“Our research will investigate new materials that can speed up and scale up DAC, including training artificial intelligence to develop novel composite materials,” said CarbonLock Director Andrew Lenton.

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The program will also focus on developing the next generation of permanent carbon storage to complement research already undertaken in nature-based carbon storage solutions and geological carbon capture and storage.

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