SSEB launched a new project known as the Direct Air Capture Recovery of Energy for CCUS Partnership (DAC RECO2UP) in early 2021. The project employs a team approach and supports the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s goal to decrease the cost of carbon capture through the testing of existing direct air capture (DAC) materials in integrated field units that produce a concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) stream of at least 95 percent purity. Solid-amine CO2 adsorption-desorption contactor technology, proven in the laboratory, will undergo high-fidelity design/validation.

Recoverable energy is readily available in a large number of commercial locations where DAC can be deployed; therefore, advancing the fidelity of energy recovery to directly reduce the cost of DAC is a key project objective. In addition, many commercial facilities have low-concentration CO2 vents that are uneconomical to treat alone but could provide more efficient mass and thermal transport to DAC systems with integrated energy recovery and flexible CO2 treatment capabilities.

Technology scale up will leverage past research and occur in a commercially-relevant environment at the National Carbon Capture Center. Pre-screening techno-economic analysis, risk assessments, and life cycle analysis will be performed by experienced team members. Results of the project will address critical technical barriers that, when solved, will improve the capital and operating costs of DAC while validating commercial relevance of cost, product quality, and need.

Team members for the project include AirCapture LLC, Global Thermostat, Synapse Product Development, Crescent Resource Innovation, the National Carbon Capture Center (pictured), and Southern Company.

The project ends its Design Phase in October 2021, after which it will transition into the Construction Phase set to end in October of 2022. From there, the project will enter its final phase, Integrated Systems Testing, scheduled to conclude in January of 2024.