To date, atmospheric carbon capture has been deemed too expensive to be practical, because of the high energy inputs. Each day they absorb about a ton of Carbon dioxide, but they're working on blueprints for a much larger facility which could potentially filter a million tons of Carbon dioxide per year.
The implications of CE's proven DAC technology on climate strategy are twofold - it allows the removal of existing Carbon dioxide from the air to counteract emissions too challenging or costly to eliminate at source, and enables the production of clean fuels that can significantly reduce transportation emissions. "This must change quickly if we are to [fulfill] the Paris agreement".
Pilot plant already operating in British Columbia.
Keith's team worked directly with commercial suppliers of each piece of repurposed equipment to design tests, engineer alterations, and develop cost estimates to adapt the hardware for a commercial direct-air-capture plant.
"The carbon dioxide generated via direct air capture can be combined with sequestration for carbon removal, or it can enable the production of carbon-neutral hydrocarbons, which is a way to take low-priced carbon-free power sources like solar or wind and channel them into fuels that can be used to decarbonize the transportation sector", David Keith, lead study author and professor from Harvard University, explains in a statement.
Direct air capture technology works nearly exactly like it sounds.
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Due to ultra-low life cycle carbon intensities, they are a promising route for reducing carbon emissions in heavy transportation and other sectors of the energy system that are demanding and hard to electrify.
A key issue is that atmosphere would still be clogged with 200 years' worth of human-produced carbon dioxide.
This new technology which was found by the researchers is said to have a different path to cut back the carbon dioxide in the air which causes global warming and climate change. Depending on a variety of design options and economic assumptions, the cost of pulling a tonne of Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere ranges between US$94 and $232. There are two plants in Kansas that capture Carbon dioxide and transfer it via pipeline to oil fields where the oil is produced and the Carbon dioxide is stored in the process. The captured Carbon dioxide is combined with hydrogen, which is made through the electrolysis of water. CE's AIR TO FUELS™ technology is created to decarbonize the transportation sector and provide fuel sustainability within a circular economy.
'I hope to show that this as a viable energy industrial technology, not something that is a magic bullet. but something that is completely doable, ' he told Reuters of the peer-reviewed study published in the journal Joule.
After conducting a full process analysis and crunching the numbers, Keith and his colleagues claim that realising direct air capture on an impactful scale will cost roughly Dollars 94-232 per tonne of carbon dioxide captured, which is on the low end of estimates that have ranged up to USD 1,000 per tonne in theoretical analyses. Most of the funding for the work came from funds CE raised from its investors.
The idea was first developed by a scientist called Klaus Lackner in the mid 1990s and since then a small number of technology companies have built expensive prototypes of carbon removing devices.