General Electric is entering the carbon capture space with a potential game-changing system. The company is partnering with top chemists and engineers from UC Berkeley and the University of South Alabama to develop a unique direct air carbon capture device, involving 3D-printed heat exchanger technology.
The team managed to secure the two year project through the US Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE participates with a $1.5 million award and GE and its partners share the cost of $500,000.
The technology used for the system is quite innovative. It combines a 3D-printed heat exchanger with sorbent materials to create a system that effectively extracts CO2 from the air.
The approach is similar to another project the team takes part in with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to extract water from air to provide potable clean water for troops in the field.
GE Contribution To The Direct Air Capture Technology
GE contributes to the project with its extensive knowledge in materials, thermal management and 3D printing technologies while UC Berkeley provides a world-class expertise in sorbent materials development. The University of South Alabama’s, on the other hand, designs the system for extracting carbon dioxide from the air using sorption modeling and testing.
“Through this project, we’re aiming to demonstrate the feasibility of a system that could become a future large-scale, economical solution for widespread decarbonization of the energy sector,” said David Moore, the Principal Investigator and Technology Manager for Material Physics and Chemistry at GE Research.
GE Research is a segment of GE dedicated to bringing and developing new ideas to deliver differentiated products across the company’s industrial portfolio. It also has a dedicated team of researchers that support the design and development of 3D-printed parts for a variety of industrial products across GE’s business portfolio in energy, aviation, and healthcare.
GE Research is also a top manufacturer of 3D metal printers. It has technical and domain experience in materials innovation, process engineering and commercialization, heat exchanger and other thermal technology design.
Designing a new innovative direct air carbon capture system provides an exciting opportunity for GE and its partners. The possibilities of what the next generation of carbon capture technology could do to decarbonize the energy sector are bringing researchers and institutions’ interest and new carbon capture investment.