Direct Air Capture
Our research aims to improve the cost and energy efficiency of technologies to capture CO2 from the air, known as direct air capture (DAC) technologies. We will focus both on developing new DAC technologies and on investigating opportunities for their integration within existing processes and systems, both natural and man-made, geological, terrestrial and ocean based. Effective integration is also vital due to the potential energy-intensiveness of these scaled-up technologies.
What we know
We know that technologies that directly remove CO2 from the atmosphere are needed to meet net zero emission goals by the middle of the century. DAC technologies have been demonstrated on a scale of 4,000 tons per year. To succeed, significant improvements in scalability, cost and efficiency of the technologies are required. Equally, the social and environmental impacts of technologies need to be understood which presents a research challenge.
Key research challenges
- To minimise the energy required for the air capture process;
- To assess the potential for cost reduction and scalability;
- To investigate opportunities for integration with conventional and new CO2 storage methods;
- To investigate opportunities for integration with natural or man-made infrastructure and processes;
- To understand the environmental impacts of DAC technologies;
- To investigate other potential benefits to be achieved through the utilisation of DAC technologies.
If successful, what might this program achieve?
Low-cost, energy-efficient DAC technologies that can be widely deployed in a range of settings, as well as roadmaps to chart the course for the development and deployment of those specific technologies.
We are always interested in research collaborators to provide complementary expertise. Types of complementary expertise include techno-economics analysis (TEA), life-cycle analysis (LCA), engineering design, and scaled manufacturing of new chemicals and materials. This type of collaboration has the potential to accelerate the technology development. We would also be interested in partners who can provide test locations for DAC technologies, particularly those who can safely and sustainably store CO2.