The funds will be used to build the Direct Air Capture hub in South Texas as well as Project Cypress in Louisiana, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The projects will eventually be expanded to more sites across the country.
The two hubs will be the first direct air capture projects of this size in the United States as well as “the largest in the world,” according to White House senior adviser Mitch Landrieu.
Direct air capture and removal projects use chemicals to remove carbon from the air. The CO2 is then stored underground, or it can be used in industrial materials such as cement. The machines will mimic the natural carbon removal process that is done by oceans, trees, and bogs.
Officials from the Department of Energy stated that the captured carbon from either hub will not be used for enhanced oil recovery, which is when carbon is injected into the ground to release more oil.
Energy experts say getting the carbon removal industry going is key to getting the country’s carbon emissions under control.
When it opens, the Louisiana hub will be powered with clean energy bought from the local utility, according to representatives from the owner of the project, Battelle. In the future, the hub will be powered by renewable energy.
Once the two projects are up and running, they will annually remove more than 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air, according to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. This is the same as taking about 500,000 gas cars off the road.
In 2021, a project opened in Iceland that removes about 10 metric tons of CO2 daily. This is the equivalent of the carbon emitted by 800 cars daily.
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