Direct air capture (DAC) is a relatively novel technique that allows companies to use or reuse carbon for good. Unfortunately speculations and assumptions have overshadowed the true utility and potential of carbon capture technology.
In an effort to clear up some of the confusion on this topic, we collected 10 facts that you might not know yet about direct air capture:
1. Perhaps the most important fact: carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not the same as direct air capture (DAC). DAC takes carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, whereas carbon capture prevents it partially from being emitted in the first place.
2. DAC can be used for more than just storing or sequestering carbon dioxide. For example, it can help plants go faster and stronger, and can be used to make building HVAC systems more efficient.
3. DAC does not have to be the size of an entire factory. Depending on how much carbon dioxide a company or person wants to capture out of the air and utilise, a DAC unit can even be as little as the size of a closet.
4. DAC units can be modular, meaning that the size and capacity can perfectly scale to the required co2 levels and that the units can be mass-manufactured.
5. DAC can be carbon neutral and, if also stored away such as through sequestration, carbon negative as well. Whether the DAC unit eventually is carbon neutral or negative largely depend on the energy source used to power the DAC unit.
6. DAC does not depend on fossil fuels to operate. These units can be powered with renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind energy as well.
7. Not all the DAC is the same. There are typically two options to capture carbon dioxide out of the air. That is through solid sorbents or through liquid solvents.
8. DAC does not have to cost fortunes. New research has shown that the price of carbon dioxide could become well below 100$ per ton of CO2.
9. DAC can operate using non-toxic materials and low-grade heat below 80C, making it safe to use in urban environments.
10. DAC units can provide a continuous stream of concentrated CO2 anywhere in the world. The characteristics of the CO2 supplied (eg. concentration, pressure) depend on the application.