This Louisiana project will capture at least 1 million tons of CO2 from the air each year

 

This Louisiana project will capture at least 1 million tons of CO2 from the air each year

The DOE just gave $50 million to the first “direct air capture” hub in the U.S. It’s one sign that the new industry is at a tipping point.

BY Adele Peters

In Louisiana, a new “direct air capture” hub that’s designed to pull 1 million tons of CO2 from the air each year just took the next step toward construction.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a $50 million contract to the hub, called Project Cypress. It’s the first of four DAC hubs that it plans to back in a $3.5 billion program. It’s one sign that the emerging DAC industry has reached an inflection point.

Heirloom, one of the partners on the project, launched the first commercial direct air capture plant in the U.S. last November, only a couple years after developing its technology in the lab. Climeworks, another partner, is now ramping up operations on another plant in rural Iceland that will be the largest CO2-sucking factory in the world. Other large plants will soon follow. (Both Heirloom and Climeworks are on Fast Company’s list of the Most Innovative Companies of 2024, along with Batelle, the science nonprofit coordinating the work on the new hub.)

Until just a few years ago, many experts in the space thought direct air capture tech might not really start scaling up until the 2030s. “This moment has arrived much quicker than a lot of people thought it would,” says Erin Burns, executive director of Carbon180, a nonprofit focused on carbon removal. In the U.S., a tax credit for the technology and $3.5 billion in new funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are helping push it forward faster.

 

 

Fast Company

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