The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has selected the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to lead three Topic Area 1 (Feasibility) Regional Direct Air Capture (DAC) Hubs in Colorado, Florida, and Illinois. The projects will be negotiated and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
“The DAC Hub initiative is critical to the further development and widespread deployment of the technology,” said Kevin OBrien, Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) at PRI and principal investigator of all three feasibility hubs. “The Hub builds upon existing infrastructure being developed for point source capture. DAC is a vital tool to achieve net zero,” said OBrien.
PRI, a partner of the prestigious DAC Coalition Group, has demonstrated commercial success of its point-source carbon capture and has decades of experience in permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2) underground at a commercial scale.
“This investment will enable PRI and the University of Illinois to strengthen our unique partnership between industry, higher education, and government that will spur scientific development that is needed to lead the global energy transition,” said Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at UIUC.
DAC is a process that separates CO2 from the air, helping to reduce emissions from hard to abate sectors such as aviation and shipping, and legacy CO2 in the atmosphere. The separated CO2 can then be safely and permanently stored deep underground or converted into useful carbon-containing products like concrete that prevent its release back into the atmosphere.
“These projects demonstrate the R&D leadership of PRI in advancing a portfolio of next generation technologies to enable us to achieve the net zero emission target”, said Praveen Kumar, Executive Director of PRI.
This once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure will support efforts to build a clean and equitable energy economy that achieves a zero-carbon energy system by 2035 and to put the United States on a path to strengthen our country’s energy prosperity and achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.
PRI is specifically tasked with executing feasibility and pre-feasibility studies of potential DAC Hub locations, ownership structures, business models, CO2 storage/utilization option(s), and technology partner(s) outlined in the following stage 1 of potential multi-stage projects:
Illinois Basin Regional DAC Hub
The Illinois Basin Regional DAC Hub will lead an effort to promote promising technologies that can capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in the Illinois Basin, proven geological storage strata stretching under Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The Hub intends to develop cooperative relationships between DAC technology providers, green energy providers, CO2 transportation networks, and companies seeking to store CO2 underground or use it in industrial processes.
DOE Funding: $2,938,528
Non-DOE Funding: $808,057
Total Value: $3,746,585
Colorado (Pueblo) Regional DAC Hub
This Colorado Regional DAC Hub will lead an effort to promote promising technologies that will economically remove at least 50,000 metric tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere and store it underground in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. This Hub intends to develop cooperative relationships between DAC technology providers, green energy providers, CO2 transportation networks, and companies seeking to store CO2 underground or use it in industrial processes.
DOE Funding: $2,999,992
Non-DOE Funding: $751,646
Total Value: $3,751,638
Florida Regional DAC Hub
Located in the Florida panhandle, this Hub aims to remove at least 50,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and store it underground in the Tuscaloosa Group (thick, permeable saline aquifers 4,920-7,050 feet deep). This well-studied geological storage formation contains rock layers ideal for trapping greenhouse gases, such as CO2 for centuries in the vicinity surrounding Bay County. The Hub’s location serves a growing market for CO2 utilization, the development of transport infrastructure, and access to clean energy sources.
DOE Funding: $2,778,670
Non-DOE Funding: $791,394
Total Value: $3,570,064
Read the full DOE announcement here.
Media contact: Tiffany Jolley, firstname.lastname@example.org