The Anonymous Widower

Rolls-Royce Secures Funding To Build Direct Air Capture Demonstrator

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce has secured £3m from the UK Government to build a demonstrator Direct Air Capture (DAC) system, which could play a vital role in keeping global temperature rises to below 1.5C by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The demonstrator funding comes from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and helps deliver on the UK Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. It follows initial Phase 1 funding of £250,000 awarded in 2021, that allowed Rolls-Royce to design the demonstrator in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

These two paragraphs, give a few clues to the technology.

Jess Poole, Direct Air Capture Lead for Rolls-Royce, said: “Every credible climate change model requires us to decarbonise today’s emissions, as well as removing CO2 already in the atmosphere via carbon negative technologies such as DAC. Our system combines our expertise in moving large quantities of air efficiently and integrating complex systems, which have been gained from designing world-leading jet engines, with novel DAC technology developed by CSIRO.

“Together the system works like a giant lung, sucking in air, absorbing the CO2, and releasing what is not wanted. We use a water-based liquid to wash around 50% of the CO2 from the captured air. Our technology is distinctive because very little water is used, and the liquid is recycled at low temperatures, making it energy efficient. Other technologies consume a lot of water and require substantial amounts of energy to generate heat for the separation of the CO2.

I was unaware of CSIRO, but that is not surprising, as they are Australian. They are introduced like this in their Wikipedia entry.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research.

CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

Their motto is “We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.”

There’s certainly been several brilliant ideas and projects from the country in the last few years.

Is this another?

Another Problem With Carbon Dioxide

When I’m in an optimistic mood, I feel that scientists and engineers may develop so many ideas for the use of carbon dioxide, that we may need to burn natural gas in power stations, so we have the carbon dioxide for industrial or agricultural uses.

I know of one tomato grower, who uses a gas-powered combined heat and power boiler to heat his greenhouses. The carbon dioxide is fed to the tomatoes and any spare electricity is sold to the grid.

Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems might be needed to provide a carbon dioxide feedstock for some processes. Suppose in the tomato example, the grower is heating his greenhouses with an energy source, that doesn’t generate carbon dioxide, he might want to obtain his carbon dioxide from the air.

July 12, 2022 - Posted by | Finance | , , , , , ,

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