Recent funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), will allow the National Carbon Capture Center to serve as the test facility for two new carbon capture research and development (R&D) projects, including the facility’s first evaluation of direct air capture (DAC) technology.
In the first award, the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) will lead a $3.1 million public-private partnership to scale up a solid-amine carbon dioxide (CO2) adsorption-desorption contactor technology that has been proven in the laboratory. The team’s ultimate goal is to decrease the cost of DAC through testing existing DAC materials in integrated field units that produce a concentrated CO2 stream of at least 95% purity.

“As the first DAC technology designated to come to the center for testing, this project represents an expanded focus for the facility as we seek to incorporate negative carbon concepts into our research strategy,” National Carbon Capture Center Director John Northington said. “We look forward to working with the SSEB on this promising new DAC technology and moving it from basic research toward pilot-scale and larger demonstrations.”

DAC includes emerging technologies that separate CO2 directly from ambient air. Captured CO2 can then be safely and permanently stored underground or used in the production of fuels, chemicals and commercial products such as building materials and beverages.

In the area of post-combustion carbon capture, DOE awarded $4 million in funding to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for carbon capture testing on natural gas and coal flue gas. The project will demonstrate the performance of a novel water-lean solvent and develop a cost-effective method for synthesizing sufficient quantities of solvent to perform a 0.5-megawatt test at the center.

“We are always pleased to build on our long relationship with EPRI as a sponsor of the National Carbon Capture Center,” Northington said. “In this instance, we’re particularly excited to support EPRI and its project team in the development and demonstration of a next-generation solvent for post-combustion capture.”