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DOE awarding $72M to 27 projects to develop and advance carbon capture technologies, including direct air capture

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the award of approximately $72 million in federal funding to support the development and advancement of carbon capture technologies under two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Under this cost-shared research and development (R&D), DOE is awarding $51 million to nine new projects for coal and natural gas power and industrial sources. DOE is awarding a total of $21 million to 18 projects for technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a process known as “direct air capture” (DAC).

Through DOE’s Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage R&D Program, the Office of Fossil Energy has a comprehensive portfolio of technological solutions that help keep CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere. Many of these R&D efforts can be applied across both the energy and the industrial sectors.

Under the first FOA (DE-FOA-0002187), Capture Research and Development (R&D): Engineering Scale Testing from Coal- and Natural-Gas-Based Flue Gas and Initial Engineering Design for Industrial Sources, DOE selected nine projects to receive $51 million for cost-shared R&D. These efforts aim to design initial engineering studies to develop technologies to capture CO2 generated as a byproduct of manufacturing at industrial sites.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the selected projects, which fall under two areas of interest (AOI).

AOI 1 (Subtopic 1.1): CO2 Capture and Compression from Industrial Sources

  • Enabling Production of Low Carbon Emissions Steel Through CO2 Capture from Blast Furnace Gases. ArcelorMittal USA plans to design an industrial-scale solution for carbon capture from blast furnace-based steelmaking operations at its plant in Burns Harbor, IN. This work will focus on designing a carbon capture system capable of capturing 50 to 70 percent of CO2 emissions from blast furnace gas. It will also help develop carbon reduction technologies for use in the steel sector.
    DOE Funding: $1,487,794; Non-DOE Funding: $371,949; Total: $1,859,742

  • LH CO2MENT Colorado Project. Electricore will seek to complete a carbon capture initial engineering analysis design for the Lafarge Holcim cement production facility in Florence, CO. The project will feature Svante’s VeloxoTherm adsorbent-based post-combustion carbon capture technology and will be designed to remove CO2 from the flue gas of the cement kiln and a natural gas-fired steam generator. The objective is to accelerate implementation of a system that will capture 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
    DOE Funding: $1,500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $430,524; Total: $1,930,524

  • Engineering Design of a Polaris Membrane CO2 Capture System at a Cement Plant. Membrane Technology and Research (MTR) Inc. will prepare an initial engineering design study to use commercial-scale membrane CO2 capture technology at the CEMEX Balcones cement plant in New Braunfels, TX. In prior work with DOE, MTR has advanced membrane CO2 capture technology for coal power plants through small engineering scale testing and studies. Additionally, sensitivity studies indicate that the membrane capture approach is even more attractive when the flue gas has higher CO2 content, such as that found in cement plants and other industrial sources.
    DOE Funding: $1,493,318; Non-DOE Funding: $373,329; Total: $1,866,647

  • Engineering Design of a Linde-BASF Advanced Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Technology at a Linde Steam Methane Reforming H2 Plant. Praxair will complete an initial engineering design study for a Linde-BASF CO2 capture system at a commercial steam methane reforming (SMR) hydrogen plant in Convent, LA. The plant will be one of the largest of its kind in the world. Its CO2 capture and compression operations will be designed to recover at least 90 percent of the CO2 from a flue gas stream produced by the SMR process.
    DOE Funding: $1,500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $405,328; Total: $1,905,328

AOI 1 (Subtopic 1.2): CO2 Capture and Compression from Ethanol Plants

  • Initial Engineering and Design for CO2 Capture from Ethanol Facilities. University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (Grand Forks, ND) will complete an initial engineering design for a hybrid capture system and estimate associated costs for retrofitting the Red Trail Energy ethanol plant. The objective is to develop a novel system that processes 200,000 tonnes per year of CO2 and includes CO2 capture and compression from bioprocessing, as well as capturing CO2 produced from natural gas boilers with an amine absorption technology.
    DOE Funding: $1,499,954; Non-DOE Funding: $375,000; Total: $1,874,954

AOI 2 (Subtopic 2.1): Carbon Capture Testing on Natural Gas Flue Gas

  • Chevron Natural Gas Carbon Capture Technology Testing Project. Chevron USA. Inc. plans to design, construct, commission, and test an engineering-scale carbon capture plant using Svante’s VeloxoThermTM transformational post-combustion carbon capture technology. The plant will operate under realistic conditions at a California oil field for at least two months of continuous steady-state testing. The test will allow project participants to gather data for further process scale-up of carbon capture technology.
    DOE Funding: $13,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $3,272,127; Total: $16,272,127

  • Engineering-scale Demonstration of Transformational Solvent on NGCC Flue Gas. ION Clean Energy Inc. will demonstrate its low-cost ICE-31 solvent with enhanced stability technology on a flue gas slipstream at Los Medanos Energy Center, a commercially dispatched natural gas combined-cycle power plant in Pittsburg, CA. The project team will design, construct and operate an engineering-scale pilot system that will capture 10 tonnes of CO2 per day.
    DOE Funding: $13,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $3,906,839; Total: $16,906,839

AOI 2 (Subtopic 2.2): Carbon Capture Testing on Coal Flue Gas or Coal and Natural Gas Flue Gas

  • Engineering-Scale Test of a Water-Lean Solvent for Post-Combustion Capture. Electric Power Research Institute Inc. aims to demonstrate the performance of a novel water-lean solvent for post-combustion removal of CO2 from coal- and natural gas-derived flue gas. The project team will develop a cost-effective method for synthesizing sufficient quantities of solvent to perform a 0.5 MWe-scale test at the National Carbon Capture Center. Modifications will then be made to run test campaigns with the solvent for coal and natural gas flue gas sources and perform techno-economic analyses and an environmental health and safety risk assessment of a full-scale deployment of the solvent at power plants.
    DOE Funding: $4,129,607; Non-DOE Funding: $1,032,411; Total: $5,162,018

  • Engineering Scale Design and Testing of Transformational Membrane Technology for CO2 Capture. Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will design and build an engineering-scale CO2 capture system using the Ohio State University transformational membrane process. GTI will also conduct tests on coal flue gas at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center to demonstrate a continuous, steady-state operation for a minimum of two months and gather data for further process scale-up. The project will attempt to achieve DOE’s transformational carbon capture performance goal of CO2 capture with 95 percent CO2 purity at a cost of $30 per tonne.
    DOE Funding: $13,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $3,250,000; Total: $16,250,000

DOE also selected 18 projects to receive $21 million under the second FOA (DE-FOA-0002188), Novel Research and Development for the Direct Capture of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere. These projects will focus on the development of new materials for use in direct air capture and will also complete field testing.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the selected projects:

  • Direct Air Capture Using Novel Structured Adsorbents. Electricore plans to build and operate a 30 kg per day DAC system that combines Climeworks’ process and hardware with Svante’s transformational structured adsorbent laminate filter, advancing the process and identifying optimization options for this DAC configuration. Field testing will be conducted at a renewable power generation site in California to capture operational data on the novel process and material combination under real conditions. Data will be used to advise techno-economics and life cycle analysis of the technology.
    DOE Funding: $2,500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $712,880; Total: $3,212,880

  • Advanced Integrated Reticular Sorbent-Coated System to Capture CO2 from the Atmosphere. GE Research plans to develop an “Advanced Integrated Reticular Sorbent-Coated System to Capture CO2 from the Atmosphere (AIR2CO2).” The team’s key objective will be to demonstrate an AIR2CO2 material system that integrates advanced metal-organic framework sorbents and sorbent-binder slurry coatings to capture and release atmospheric CO2.
    DOE Funding: $799,981; Non-DOE Funding: $199,995; Total: $999,976

  • MIL-101(Cr)-Amine Sorbents Evaluation Under Realistic Direct Air Capture Conditions. Georgia Tech Research Corporation plans to develop and test MIL-101(Cr)-based sorbents in the form of powders, in composite polymer/MOF fibers and on the surface of monoliths. The experimental portion of this project will synthesize and characterize powder, fiber, and monolith MIL-101(Cr)-based sorbents. If successful, the development of DAC materials suitable for a more diverse climate spectrum will expand the currently limited development of DAC technology towards a scenario of global deployment.
    DOE Funding: $755,166; Non-DOE Funding: $191,482; Total: $946,648

  • Demonstration of a Continuous-Motion Direct Air Capture System. Global Thermostat Operations, LLC plans to prototype the unique mechanical components of the proposed continuous-motion system, refine the process steps and supporting plant process equipment, assess the impacts on material lifetime, assess the capital equipment needed and associated cost, and finally delineate key performance indicators. The team’s ultimate goal is to advance the most promising process improvements, where a DAC plant is operated in a continuous fashion rather than a discrete batchwise fashion.
    DOE Funding: $2,499,996; Non-DOE Funding: $850,000; Total: $3,349,996

  • Experimental Demonstration of Alkalinity Concentration Swing for Direct Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide. Harvard University plans to perform an experimental demonstration of a novel process for capture of CO2 from the air and release into a concentrated CO2 environment. The process involves raising and lowering the alkalinity of an inexpensive alkaline aqueous solution, which changes both the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon and the partitioning of dissolved inorganic carbon among chemical species within the solution.
    DOE Funding: $720,048; Non-DOE Funding: $180,858; Total: $900,906

  • High-Performance, Hybrid Polymer Membrane for Carbon Dioxide Separation from Ambient Air. InnoSense, LLC plans to develop a highly CO2-permeable, ultra-thin, and selective hybrid polymer membrane for DAC applications. Researchers will achieve process optimization by understanding the effects of membrane performance (e.g., thickness, permeability, selectivity, etc.) and processing conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, humidity, gas compositions, flow rate, etc.) through lab-scale experiments and process simulation.
    DOE Funding: $799,998; Non-DOE Funding: $200,001; Total: $999,999

  • Transformational Sorbent Materials for a Substantial Reduction in the Energy Requirement for Direct Air Capture of CO2. InnoSepra, LLC plans to utilize computational tools, materials characterization, and lab-scale testing to optimize previously identified transformational materials to determine their performance under DAC conditions. The overall objectives of the work are to demonstrate that the materials can lead to a substantial reduction in the energy requirement for direct capture of CO2 from air compared to current state-of-the-art DAC processes.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $1,000,000

  • A Combined Water and CO2 Direct Air Capture System. IWVC, LLC plans to design, manufacture, and field test a combined water and CO2 DAC system at a field site located on the San Diego State University Brawley campus. The team’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate the technical and economic performance of a transformational technology that simultaneously captures CO2 and water from the air.
    DOE Funding: $2,500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $672,000; Total: $3,172,000

  • TRAPS: Tunable, Rapid-uptake, AminoPolymer Aerogel Sorbent for Direct Air Capture of CO2. Palo Alto Research Center plans to develop tunable, rapid-uptake, aminopolymer aerogel sorbent for DAC of CO2, a novel solid sorbent for DAC. The chief objective of this effort is to develop a solid sorbent for DAC of CO2 that will achieve equilibrium uptake capacity of 4 mmol/g, uptake rate of 0.15 mmol/g/min, and oxidation resistance that is 7 times greater than state-of-the-art polyethylenimine.
    DOE Funding: $799,998; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $999,998

  • Direct Air Capture Using Trapped Small Amines in Hierarchical Nanoporous Capsules on Porous Electrospun Hollow Fibers. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute plans to develop an innovative sorbent structure of trapped small amines in hierarchical nanoporous capsules embedded in porous electrospun fibers for DAC. The proposed sorbent structure is designed to address challenges associated with DAC of CO2, including the dilute concentration of CO2 in air, large land use, and high overall energy use and process cost.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $1,000,000

  • Development of Advanced Solid Sorbents for Direct Air Capture. RTI International plans to develop two different novel materials, metal organic frameworks (i.e., MOFs and physisorption) and phosphorous dendrimers (i.e., P-dendrimers and chemisorption) for DAC. The project team will focus on developing novel, robust, high capacity, regenerable CO2 adsorbents for DAC that substantially reduce the energy required for regeneration, are resistant to material degradation (i.e., dusting and spalling), and are highly selective to CO2 over moisture and nitrogen.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,502; Total: $1,000,502

  • Direct Air Capture Recovery of Energy for CCUS Partnership (DAC RECO2UP). Southern States Energy Board plans to scale up and integrate solid-amine CO2 adsorption-desorption contactor technology which has been proven in the laboratory. The team’s ultimate goal is to decrease the cost of DAC through the testing of existing DAC materials in integrated field units that produce a concentrated CO2 stream of at least 95 percent purity.
    DOE Funding: $2,500,000; Non-DOE Funding: $651,790; Total: $3,151,790

  • Membrane Adsorbents Comprising Self-Assembled Inorganic Nanocages (SINCs) for Super-fast Direct Air Capture Enabled by Passive Cooling. SUNY, in collaboration with University at Buffalo and Trimeric Corporation, plans to develop highly porous membrane adsorbents comprising CO2-philic polymers and self-assembled inorganic nanocages for rapid temperature swing adsorption using electricity-free solar heating and radiative cooling, enabling an economically viable approach for DAC. The resulting experimental data will be incorporated into the techno-economic analysis to assess the feasibility, economic opportunity, and impact on CO2 emissions of this technology if implemented at scale.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $1,000,000

  • Low Regeneration Temperature Sorbents for Direct Air Capture of CO2. Susteon Inc. plans to develop amine-doped solid sorbents catalyzed by ionic liquids that have the potential to increase the CO2 desorption rate by several orders of magnitude at desorption temperatures of 80-90°C. The anticipated benefits of this sorbent process are greater than 20 percent reduction in the energy required for sorbent regeneration, the potential to use waste heat for sorbent regeneration, increase in sorbent lifetime/stability due to lower regeneration temperature, and lower sorbent replacement cost due to the increased stability.
    DOE Funding: $799,687; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $999,687

  • Next Generation Fiber-Encapsulated Nanoscale Hybrid Materials for Direct Air Capture with Selective Water Rejection. The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York plan to develop a tailored material in combination with state-of-the-art anhydrous nanofluid solvent and electrospinning technologies to form a hybrid coaxial-fiber system for DAC with selective rejection of water. The project team will investigate underlying mechanisms that impact sorption kinetics, thermodynamics, and mass transfer to gain an understanding that will enable tuning key parameters of encapsulated hybrid coaxial fiber for optimal operating conditions in DAC.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $1,000,000

  • Gradient Amine Sorbents for Low Vacuum Swing CO2 Capture at Ambient Temperature. The University of Akron in collaboration with Aspen Aerogels, Inc., plans to determine the cost-effectiveness of a low vacuum swing adsorption process for DAC. If successful, the development of the proposed technology could help alleviate the impact of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel usage on climate change. The proposed concept could also be further extended to the separation of acid gases and sulfur-containing gas molecules from process streams in chemical and natural gas industry.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,262; Total: $1,000,262

  • Electrochemically-Driven Carbon Dioxide Separation. University of Delaware plans to develop an electrochemically driven CO2 separator (EDCS) using poly (aryl piperidinium) (PAP) ionomers. The ionomers will perform near-continuous CO2 separation from air under ambient conditions at a rate of 0.4 mol/m2-hr with <235 kJ/mol (1.49 MWh/t) cell electrical energy input and zero thermal energy input. The team will also perform extensive characterization of the kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport properties of CO2, bicarbonate, carbonate, and hydroxide in PAP ionomers.
    DOE Funding: $800,000; Non-DOE Funding: $200,000; Total: $1,000,000

  • Development of Novel Materials for Direct Air Capture of CO2. University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY) plans to develop an enhanced depolarized electro-membrane system. The overall process will be expected to extract CO2 from ambient air, up-concentrate and regenerate the extracted CO2, and simultaneously renew the capture solvent at greater than 30 percent reduced energy consumption and footprint compared to state-of-the-art DAC technologies.
    DOE Funding: $699,509; Non-DOE Funding: $174,904; Total: $874,413



Capture carbon to reuse later.
Make a market so the costs are paid for.

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