Susteon has been selected to receive a $1.6 million award from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science to further develop its Dual Functional Material (DFM) technology for direct air capture of CO2 from the atmosphere. The award funding, administered through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program via a Phase II grant, represents a continuation of promising work on the DFM technology performed by Susteon with the support of an SBIR Phase I grant.
Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 from air is a promising negative-emissions technology that can contribute to the mitigation of CO2 emissions at the large scales needed to combat climate change. To realize the potential of DAC, Susteon has developed dual functional materials (DFM) that are capable not only of capturing CO2 from the air, but also converting it into renewable natural gas (RNG). The produced RNG can be used as a green fuel, and DFM as a platform technology can potentially be applied to create a range of other fuels directly from CO2, such as diesel or aviation fuel.
During the SBIR Phase I, Susteon and its partner successfully demonstrated the DFM concept. The goal of the SBIR Phase II will be to (i) optimize the DFMs, (ii) build and operate a bench-scale prototype unit, and (iii) collect the necessary engineering data to design a pilot-scale system capable of capturing 50 kilograms of CO2 per day.
Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02), who represents Cary and the district in which Susteon is located, shared her thoughts on Tuesday about Susteon’s selection:
“Susteon Inc. in Cary is addressing the climate crisis head-on with their innovative approaches to carbon reduction and hydrogen production,” said Representative Deborah Ross (NC-02). “I’m thrilled to announce they received a grant from the Department of Energy to build on this essential work. As we combat the dire effects of climate change, continued investments in small businesses like Susteon are crucial to the success of carbon management and will help propel our country to a cleaner energy future. I look forward to seeing the excellent work they’ll do with this grant and will continue fighting for federal funding to address climate change.”
The SBIR Phase I work on DFM for DAC was performed by Susteon and its partner over the course of nine months in 2020 and 2021. Critical early support for Susteon’s DFM technology came from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, which awarded a grant to Susteon in fall 2020. This funding from the One North Carolina Small Business Program was critical in enabling the company to complete the Phase I work and assemble a strong application for SBIR Phase II funding.