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Basic Science Breakthroughs Sought in CO2 management

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $13.5 million for three national laboratory-led research efforts aimed at achieving breakthroughs in the effort to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air.

“Direct Air Capture holds promise as an emerging technology with the potential to improve the environment while expanding sources of energy through the conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels and other chemicals,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “Making this technology truly viable will require real breakthroughs in basic science, and these efforts are important steps toward that goal.”

Each of the three projects focuses on a different major approach to carbon capture. A team led by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will investigate electrochemical approaches. A team led by DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory will focus on photochemical methods, while a team led by DOE’s Lawrence Livermore Laboratory will attempt to understand the degradation processes that limit current methods using forms of chemical absorption.

Projects were selected by competitive peer review under a DOE Laboratory Announcement, sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) within DOE’s Office of Science.

Planned funding for the three awards totals $13.5 million over three years, with $4.5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

More information about the awarded teams can be found on the BES homepage under the heading “What’s New.”