Bench-Scale Development of a Novel Direct Air Capture Technology Using High-Capacity Sorbents


Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 is a potentially scalable negative CO2 emissions technology to meet the 2°C rise in temperature to mitigate climate change. Beyond negative emissions, DAC technologies can be placed ubiquitously to utilize CO2 for wide variety of applications, ranging from CO2 utilization for value-added products to geological sequestration without expensive pipelines. Current estimates for DAC suggest that it can cost between $300 to $800/ton of CO2 captured. The proposed project is aimed at reducing this capture cost by developing a structured material system which has a high CO2 capacity and adsorption rate to lower capital costs, can be selectively regenerated directly with low-cost renewable electricity to reduce regeneration energy input, and can be coated onto structured supports for low pressure drop operation.


Susteon has been selected for an award from Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for a bench-scale development project. The overall objective of the project is to advance a novel structured material system from the current TRL 3 to TRL 4 to justify its scale-up and pilot test in a subsequent program. In this project, we will:

1) Optimize the sorbent and structured support to maximize CO2 working capacity and capture rate;

2) Design and build a bench-scale test unit to evaluate the structured sorbent system to determine engineering factors and scale-up parameters, such as CO2 working capacity, adsorption and desorption rates, desorption energy requirements, and cycle times; and

3) Based on the experimental results, develop a process design employing the new material to estimate a preliminary cost projection to assess the potential of the novel structured sorbent to reduce the cost of DAC.


Anticipated benefits of the technology are development of a low cost, highly reliable, and robust technology for direct air capture of CO2 with >20% reduction in overall cost compared to the current technologies. This cost reduction will come from using inexpensive alkali-based sorbents with high CO2 capture capacity, high adsorption and desorption rates reducing the cycle time, a novel regeneration scheme using renewable electricity. The development of this novel structured material system provides a clear pathway for reducing the cost of CO2 capture for DAC applications to less than $75/ton of CO2.