In March 2022, the US Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, in coordination with the DOE Technology Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), convened a roundtable on “Foundational Science for Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies” to discuss the scientific and technical barriers for dilute carbon dioxide capture, conversion, and storage. 

The brochure with the priority research opportunities was published in June 2022.

The full report will be published in Summer 2022. 

Priority Research Opportunities

Five priority research opportunities were identified to address these scientific and technical challenges and accelerate progress toward the realization of zero carbon emissions:

  • Master interfacial processes of CO2 transport and reactivity across multiple length and time scales
    • CO2 molecules crossing gas-fluid-solid interfaces via coupled physical and chemical reactions underlie all CDR processes. The driving forces for CDR at interfaces (pH, gradients in reactive species) are diminished during operation, slowing capture kinetics, or worse, passivating surfaces of natural and synthetic materials. Incorporating a function that continuously regenerates reactivity could revolutionize efficacy of CDR media. Successful design and exploitation of next-generation CDR media that include regenerative capabilities require.
  • Create materials that simultaneously exhibit multiple properties for CO2 capture and release or conversion
    • Creating new high-performance materials is a key to reducing the energy required for capturing CO2 from dilute sources and for converting CO2 into valuable products with net-negative emissions. In particular, understanding the degradation and restoration pathways that impact function is essential to extending the lifetime of materials.
  • Discover unconventional pathways and materials for energy-efficient CO2 capture, release, and conversion
    • CO2 sorbents commonly utilize enthalpically driven processes for capture and are regenerated using thermal energy derived from fossil resources. With the rapid deployment of renewable energy, there is a unique opportunity to explore unconventional mechanisms for both processes, including electrochemical, electromagnetic, acoustic, entropic, and other alternatives, that can enable selective, energy-efficient capture and regeneration.
  • Control multiphase interactions required for CO2 conversion into molecules, minerals, and materials
    • What are the key multiphase interfacial structures, chemistries, and phenomena that control kinetics and mechanisms of CO2 transformation into minerals and materials?
  • Achieve predictive understanding of coupled processes in complex subsurface geologic systems for secure carbon storage
    • ​​Subsurface geologic sequestration must store CO2 for thousands of years in complex kilometer-scale formations that vary in lithology, groundwater chemistry, and structure. CO2 storage will cause changes to the reservoirs that are currently not predictable; understanding the processes relevant to prediction of their long-term evolution requires data that capture this complexity.