University of Illinois to Research Carbon Removal Tech - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions  -  June 23, 2022

University of Illinois to Research Carbon Removal Tech

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Prairie Research Institute (PRI) was chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) to research and develop a front-end engineering design (FEED) study on carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technologies. 

The university will receive $3,459,554 for the research project that will focus on the advancement of a direct air capture and utilization system (DACUS), which can remove 5,000 metric tons per year of CO2 from ambient air and then permanently mineralize it in concrete products. If built, the designed system would be larger than any existing direct air capture system (DAC).

“We’re excited to bring together a strong team of academic and industry collaborators to accelerate effective, economical carbon capture and use,” said Dr. Kevin OBrien, the project’s principal investigator and leader of PRI’s Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, in a statement.

The study will launch at U. S. Steel’s Gary Works in Gary, Indiana using a DAC technology developed by CarbonCapture Inc. The technology will use the plant’s waste heat, energy, and location, so energy and transportation costs can be minimized.

Once CO2 emissions are captured from the atmosphere, the liquified gas will be transported to Ozinga ready mix concrete plants utilizing CarbonCure’s CO2 removal and utilization technologies, which inject the CO2 directly into the concrete as it is being mixed. When injected, the CO2 immediately mineralizes and is locked away in the concrete.


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