The US Plans to Capture Carbon Directly From the Air

The US Plans to Capture Carbon Directly From the Air

There is way too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere, and that’s one truth that nobody can deny. The good news is that scientists are looking for ways to solve the problem. The Department of Energy (DOE) in the US has come up with a plan: two pioneering facilities from the US will remove millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere using direct air capture (DAC) technology, according to science.org.

DOE’s plan automatically involves a huge investment. The sum of $1.2 billion is needed, while the two facilities will be based in Texas and Louisiana, respectively.

Overcoming global warming

The new initiative was obviously designed to combat global warming, and it represents the first phase of a $3.5 billion fund designated for DAC hubs, as outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of the previous year. This also marks a significant commitment of the government to the emerging field of carbon capture technology on a global scale.

The program’s overarching goal involves establishing four DAC hubs within the upcoming decade, each capable of annually removing and storing a minimum of 1 million tons of CO2. As part of this effort, the DOE has also granted funding for 19 additional conceptual and engineering studies for prospective future DAC plants.

While some hail this as a significant investment in a technology with potential longevity, skeptics are also there. Some experts view DAC as energy-intensive and costly, requiring substantial power to capture, purify, and store CO2.

DAC proponents, however, argue that the current annual global spending of over $1 trillion on clean energy technologies may not be efficient to meet carbon reduction targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emphasizes the need to sequester about 1 billion tons of carbon annually by 2030, with projections reaching up to 20 billion tons by 2050. DAC and other negative emissions technologies are crucial to achieving these objectives.

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