The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced its support for two projects that aim to explore the potential use of nuclear energy in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The projects, led by GE Vernova and Northwestern University, are among the 19 selected to receive DOE funding.
The idea behind these projects is to investigate the feasibility of using nuclear energy in systems designed to remove and store carbon dioxide emissions directly from the atmosphere.
By utilizing nuclear energy, these systems could potentially offer a more efficient and environmentally friendly solution to carbon capture than current methods.
One of the selected projects, led by GE Vernova is a pre-feasibility assessment to establish a Direct Air Capture (DAC) regional hub near Houston, Texas with the aim of removing up to one million metric tons of CO2 per year.
The study will explore the feasibility of a unique DAC system design that would integrate GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor and renewable electricity. The integration would enable the capture of gas from ambient air, which could then be stored underground or used as feedstock for sustainable aviation fuels.
This project has received funding of $2.554 million from the DOE, combined with additional funding of $762,827 from other sources, resulting in a total value of slightly more than $3.3 million.
The second project is by Northwestern University, which is working on a project called the Midwest Nuclear DAC Hub. This project will test the feasibility of deploying large-scale direct air capture (DAC) solutions by developing a DAC hub powered by nuclear energy.
The project has been granted $3 million by the DOE, which, when combined with non-DOE funding of $927,910, gives it a total worth of approximately $3.9 million.
All recipients will now engage in discussions with the Department of Energy (DOE) to come to a conclusion on the conditions and extent of their individual research projects.