We know that capturing carbon from the atmosphere is possible. But how do we get there?

May 09, 2023

(Nanowerk News) Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology offers new opportunities to get closer to our climate change mitigation targets. However, we still have a long way to go before DAC can be fully rolled out as a mitigation measure.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has now made its message very clear. Our actions over the next seven years will influence global climate developments for the next thousand years. This means that we must use all available measures to limit global temperature rise.

At the DAC facility, carbon dioxide is effectively ‘sucked’ from the atmosphere, thereby reducing its concentration in the air and reducing the greenhouse effect. DAC technology is beneficial because it can potentially help remove CO2 straight from the air, and not just contain CO emissions2 from fossil sources. However, DAC facilities also present challenges as they must process large volumes of air to achieve a visible impact, making the process expensive.

“The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is only 0.04 percent”, said Jon Hovland, Chief Research Scientist at the Norwegian institute of science, SINTEF Industry. “Because of these low concentrations, a lot of energy is required to extract the gas, and the facility requires a large area. This makes the cost per tonne of CO captured2 very high,” he said.

What do we need to do to launch DAC in Norway?

Worldwide, we are aware of approximately 18 test and demonstration facilities for DAC, operating with a combined annual capture capacity of approximately 9,000 tonnes of CO22. The largest facility currently operating is in Iceland, capable of capturing up to 4,000 tonnes of gas annually.

In Norway there are many factors that support the country to be able to develop DAC infrastructure. Norway has large volumes of geological storage capacity on its continental shelf, favorable climatic conditions, and a high level of expertise in carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Many Norwegian companies are evaluating or actively planning the construction of DAC facilities based on technology fully developed in Norway or in collaboration with overseas companies. So, what is needed for this plan to become a reality?

SINTEF has done a study for the Norwegian Environment Agency and have concluded that further research is needed in DAC technology. An important part of the job is learning from our current experience in terms of keeping energy consumption and costs as low as possible. As the technology matures, construction and operational costs will fall, and energy costs will be an ever-increasing proportion of total costs because energy consumption is directly related to CO2 volume.2 who was arrested.

In the the report itself, The Environment Agency pointed out that DAC technology will require operational subsidies if negative emissions are not assessed using other instruments. Such instruments may include the country of Norway which ‘reflects’ existing CO2 tax with reverse tax per tonne of CO2. In such a scenario, the company will be paid for every tonne of CO22 they remove from the atmosphere. Such actions could be coupled with funding for technology development and perhaps also for transport and storage infrastructure development.

“DAC technology offers great potential, but it is important to emphasize that it will complement, and not an alternative, to measures such as CCS technology being implemented to achieve CO2 reductions.2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Hovland.

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