The US Department of Energy has just announced the availability of $14.5 million funding to support low-carbon energy sources and promote the development and scaling up direct air capture (DAC) technology.
DAC is the process of separating CO2 directly from the air and then permanently storing it underground or using it to make other products. Currently, direct air capture technology is still expensive and requires substantial investments to make it more cost-effective and economically viable for it to enter the commercial CO2 market.
DAC systems have been found to be a crucial component in the battle against climate change and advancing this technology has been defined as a key priority for the Biden Administration.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the need of DAC along with other approaches to be deployed in industries that are notoriously difficult to decarbonize, such as shipping, aviation, and agriculture.
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And thanks to the largest-ever proposed carbon removal investment of President Biden, significant steps are already being taken to help combat the climate crisis, both in and outside the United States.
The recent funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support engineering studies of advanced direct air capture systems that can remove as much as 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per annum. That is roughly the emissions of electricity used by over 900 households in the country in a year.
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Furthermore, these same systems will also be equipped to store the captured CO2 for long periods of time.
Hopes are that these studies will provide insight into the operation of the above systems and will allow to determine potential investment costs. And they will also allow DOE to boost research and development of existing DAC technologies.