The Great Plains Institute (GPI) has developed a handy atlas of the United States that shows the best possible locations for creating direct air capture (DAC) hubs.
Dubbed the Atlas of Direct Air Capture, Opportunities for Negative Emissions in the United States, it was created with the help of Carbon Solutions LLC, who looked at factors like climate, proximity to geologic carbon storage, existing CO2 infrastructure, regional sources for low-carbon electricity and heat among others.
The analysis determined that seven regions have the most potential to serve as DAC hubs: California, Rockies & Northern Plains, Permian, Midcontinent, Gulf, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic & Great Lakes.
“The atlas describes the myriad DAC technologies and provides a new and exciting look at opportunities to utilize waste heat from other thermal and industrial processes, which maximizes efficiency and can result in even greater potential for carbon dioxide emission reductions,” said Matt Fry, GPI’s senior policy manager for carbon management.
Funding for establishing four DAC hubs is available through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, that has set aside $3.5 billion until 2026. Economy of scale and sharing networks and storage infrastructure are among the key points in the law’s provisions.
Applications for regional DAC hub funding from the DoE and the National Energy Technology Laboratory are due March 13.
The atlas’ arrival comes at a time when the carbon removal industry is seeing a proliferation of startups but also companies from the energy sector developing projects.
With demand expected to outpace the supply of carbon removal capacity, the role of DAC hubs will be crucial in satisfying customers while also reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere.