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US Invests $1.2 Billion in Carbon Capture Plants to Suck Tons of CO2 From the Air

Pulling large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere is likely to be a crucial part of efforts to tackle climate change. A new $1.2 billion investment by the US government in two large-scale facilities could help jumpstart the technology.

While there is strong consensus that rapidly reducing carbon emissions will be essential if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, there’s growing recognition that this isn’t happening fast enough to hit present targets. As a result, it seems increasingly likely that we’ll have to find ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere later this century.

While various nature-based solutions exist, including reforestation and locking up carbon in soil, direct air capture (DAC) technology that pulls CO2 out of the air could be a crucial tool. The technology is in its infancy though and currently costs a huge amount of money to remove very little carbon from the atmosphere.

The US government hopes to change that with the announcement of $1.2 billion in funding to build two plants capable of removing up to a million tons of CO2 a year in Texas and Louisiana. The hope is that building facilities at a much larger scale than shown in previous demonstrations will help prove the feasibility of the technology and cut costs.

“Cutting back on our carbon emissions alone won’t reverse the growing impacts of climate change; we also need to remove the CO2 that we’ve already put in the atmosphere,” US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement announcing the investment.

The plants will be the first of four direct air capture (DAC) demonstrators due to be built over the next decade using money from last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law. The agency says each facility will eventually remove more than 250 times more CO2 than the largest existing DAC plant, which is based in Iceland.

Both will rely on massive arrays of fans to suck air over special materials that selectively remove CO2. The materials are then heated to liberate the captured CO2 in preparation for further processing and storage deep underground (though in the future it may be possible to repurpose the gas into things like cement or sustainable aviation fuels).

The Louisiana project is a collaboration between non-profit technology company Batelle and DAC technology providers Climeworks Corporation and Heirloom Carbon Technologies, while the Texas plant will be built by Occidental Petroleum using technology from Carbon Engineering.

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39 more agrees trigger social media ads

  • Harrison wambui

    42 w

    A great great step

    • We Don't Have Time

      42 w

      Dear Tabitha Kimani Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to US Government by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

      • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

        42 w

        Great investment

        • Edwin wangombe

          42 w

          A worthwhile investment...

          • Joseph Githinji

            42 w

            A great strategy towards decarbonisation , this is a noble investment.

            • George Kariuki

              42 w

              Such collaborations bring together expertise from different sectors to tackle complex issues like this, effectively.

              • Peter Kamau

                42 w

                I hope this project proves to be very effective as it can be scaled up and help decarbonise.

                • bonke reinhard

                  42 w

                  Good step

                  • hilda Wangui

                    42 w

                    Amazing step for sustainable planet

                    • Tabitha Kimani

                      42 w

                      A great step towards sustainability

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