The British government on Friday announced companies, including Rolls-Royce and EDF as the recipients of 54 million pounds ($65 million) of funding to assist in research technology to eliminate greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
The funds will help projects advance their greenhouse gas removal technologies, including a machine that can pull carbon dioxide from the air, a plant that converts household waste into hydrogen for use in the transportation industry, and a system that removes carbon dioxide from seawater.
A total of 15 groups have received money, including the University of Exeter, which is creating a device to remove CO2 from saltwater, and Scottish firm SAC Commercial, which is developing equipment to absorb cattle-produced methane.
EDF was awarded 3 million pounds to fund a Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant using excess heat from its proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, England. DAC technology captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air as it passes through the plant using chemical reactions, which are either permanently stored or re-used for industrial purposes.
According to EDF, the funding would allow it to construct a demonstration unit capable of extracting 100 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year in collaboration with engineers from the University of Nottingham, Strata Technology, Atkins, Doosan Babcock, and Sizewell C.
“If the demonstrator project being developed by the consortium is successful, a scaled-up DAC unit powered by heat from Sizewell C could one day capture 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 each year”EDF ENERGY
Rolls-Royce has received 3 million pounds for a DAC demonstration unit, which would collect 100 tonnes of CO2 per year, with a full-scale version aiming for 1 million tonnes of removals per year.
The greenhouse gas removal programme
According to the British government, the greenhouse gas removal technology will be crucial to meet the climate target of net zero emissions by the year 2050. However, as of now, only a handful of small projects are in operation globally. The country’s goal is to remove 25 million tonnes of CO2 annually from the environment by 2030. In the first phase, 23 winners shared £5.6 million (US$6.7 million).
The programme supports four major types of greenhouse gas removal:
- Carbon Capture from Direct Air (DACC)
- Carbon Capture and Storage Using Bioenergy (BECCS)