The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Black & Veatch $2.5 million in federal funding to participate in a research and development (R&D) project aimed at advancing direct air capture (DAC) technology. The global engineering leader will develop an initial engineering design of a DAC system that aims to capture 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the atmosphere per year – currently, no existing DAC system has this level of capacity.
DAC technology can extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere, but current carbon removal operations are costly and energy intensive. The DOE will award a total of $12 million to fund six R&D projects aimed at improving this clean energy technology by increasing the amount of CO2 captured by DAC, decreasing the cost of materials and improving design and operational efficiency to help drive deployment. Advancing DAC technologies will be an important step in helping the Biden-Harris Administration reach its goal of net-zero emissions and carbon neutrality by 2050.
Three of the six projects will explore DAC operations in three distinct geographical locations, with varying climates. As part of the effort, Black & Veatch will develop an initial engineering design (Technology Readiness Level 6) for a large-scale DAC system to be placed in three locations: Odessa, Texas; Bucks, Alabama; and Goose Creek Illinois. The company will serve as the prime contractor, responsible for project management and balance of plant engineering. Black & Veatch will leverage Global Thermostat’s DAC technology, an innovative technology capable of achieving negative emission solutions.
“This DOE-funded cost-share project will enable Black & Veatch and our partners to scale Global Thermostat’s technology and ready it for global commercial adoption for CO2 sequestration and CO2 utilization such as producing carbon neutral synthetic e-fuels, and for carbon negative power generation applications,” said Jason Rowell, director of global decarbonization solutions with Black & Veatch.
Black & Veatch recently completed a technology assessment of Global Thermostat’s modular DAC units for an unnamed client, which provided the engineering leader with deep insight into the technology’s readiness, scalability, maturity plan and path to commercialization. The initial engineering design project is expected to start in the latter half of 2021 and last 18 months.
“This award is yet another steppingstone towards our intimate knowledge of the technology and its path to commercialization, while deepening our understanding of the technical and economic aspects for deployment at scale,” said Algert Prifti, CCUS technology manager with Black & Veatch. “This allows us to further expand our strategy to develop DAC technology for commercial-scale operations in North America and around the world.”
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2020 exceeded US$3.0 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
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