1 of 2 | Climeworks, already a leader in Europe in the technology needed to pull CO2 out of the air, joined a consortium petitioning for funds to build a similar facility in Louisiana. Image courtesy of Climeworks
March 16 (UPI) -- A consortium of technology developers said Thursday they submitted a proposal to the U.S. government to secure investment funds for a facility in Louisiana that could pull carbon dioxide directly out of the air.
Battelle, Climeworks and Heirloom Carbon submitted their proposal to the Energy Department to secure funds from last year's bipartisan Inflation Reduction Act to support the development the planned Project Cypress direct air capture hub along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The measure was filled with incentives for the energy transition.
"Direct air capture technology is an important bridge to a future that greatly reduces the amount of legacy carbon dioxide in our atmosphere," said Shawn Bennett, a division manager for Battelle.
Climeworks has already built two carbon capture facilities similar to what's proposed for Louisiana. The first can pull 900 tons of CO2 from the air each year for use in greenhouses. Its second facility can capture 50 tons per year, which the company plans to bury in basalt formations deep beneath Earth's surface.
Its DAC technology uses large fans to blow air through a solution of potassium hydroxide. The solution reacts with CO2 to produce potassium carbonate. The potassium carbonate is converted into a calcium carbonate pellet, which when heated yields CO2.
CO2 can either be stored or sent out to end users, such as carbonated-beverage companies.
Louisiana is quickly establishing itself as a hub for carbon capture and storage technology. CF Industries, which specializes in agricultural fertilizers, unveiled plans in August to invest nearly $200 million to cut carbon emissions for an area ammonia facility by capturing it, cooling it to liquid form and send it off to a sequestration site.
That project could be up and running by 2025 and capture the equivalent pollution of removing 700,000 gasoline-powered cars off the road.
Battelle and its partners believe their facility would be unique in that the technology used to draw carbon out of the air would be powered by renewable energy. Rather than send it off to end users, captured carbon would be stored underground.