DOE awards $24M for direct-air carbon capture R&D projects

Nine projects researching new methods for direct-air carbon capture and storage will receive $24 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

DOE announced the funding for Direct Air Capture (DAC) experimentation and research efforts. Carbon reduction efforts may not be enough to help reach the federal goals of net-zero carbon by 2050.

“Finding ways to remove and store carbon directly from the air is an absolute necessity in our fight against the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This investment in carbon capture technology research through universities and DOE laboratories will position America as a leader in this growing field, create good-paying jobs, and help make our carbon-free future a reality.” 

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The nine awards are led by two national laboratories and seven universities, including North Carolina A&T State University, an Historically Black University. The awards tackle topics including discovery of novel materials, chemistries, and processes for extraction of carbon dioxide from air, and combined experimental and computational studies on carbon dioxide capture for sequestration or reuse.   

The selected projects include: 

  • Washington State University and Oklahoma State University will use energy efficient approaches to convert carbon dioxide capture into useful products. (Award amount: $4.8 million) 
  • University of Illinois, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Case Western Reserve University will advance novel approaches that use electricity or light to control the capture and/or release of carbon dioxide. (Award amount: $9 million) 
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Oregon State University, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will explore new materials and chemical compounds with the potential for improved efficiency for carbon dioxide capture and regeneration. (Award amount: $6.6 million) 
  • Northwestern University will examine how the dynamical behavior of promising carbon capture systems impacts their carbon dioxide capture and release. (Award amount: $3.3 million) 

Total funding is $24 million for projects lasting up to three years in duration, with $8 million in Fiscal Year 2021 dollars.


  • Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and

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