US funding goes to research into pulling CO2 from the air
US engineering firm Black & Veatch secured $2.5mn in federal funding to conduct research into technology used to pull CO2 directly from the air, it said July 19.
The engineering firm said it secured funding from the Department of Energy (DoE) to research so-called direct air capture (DAC) technology.
“DAC technology can extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere, but current carbon removal operations are costly and energy intensive,” the company explained.
The funding is part of a $12mn federal commitment to finance six research and development projects meant to find ways to increase the amount of CO2 sequestered via DAC, while at the same time improving efficiencies and lowering the cost of materials.
Black & Veatch said the overall objective is to design a DAC system that can capture 100,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year, a threshold that is not possible with existing DAC systems. Canada's Carbon Engineering, however, says it has developed a system that can pull 1mn mt/yr from the atmosphere, and is developing plants in Texas and Scotland to deploy its technology.
DAC mimics natural processes to pull CO2 out of the air, utilising a series of chemical reactions and filtration to extract the greenhouse gas and release carbon-free air back into the atmosphere
The company is working on development at locations in Alabama, Texas and Illinois, US states with varying climates.
The company said that advancements in DAC technology can help the US federal government reach its goal of net-zero emissions and carbon neutrality by 2050.
Black & Veatch is already drawing on federal funding, provided by the US Trade and Development Agency, to conduct a feasibility study for an LNG regasification facility in Colombia.