The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected 11 carbon utilisation projects to receive approximately $17m in federal funding for research and development.

Each of the selected projects will develop and test technologies that can utilise CO2 from power systems or other industrial sources as the primary feedstock, in an effort to reduce emissions and transform waste carbon steams into value-added product.

“According to the US Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency, fossil fuels will continue to power our world well into the future,” said Mark Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy.

“Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure these fuels are utilised as cleanly and efficiently as possible.”

“DOE’s Carbon Utilisation Programme is investing in cutting-edge technologies to allow us to capture carbon oxides, which will reduce emissions, and then recycle them into economically valuable services like enhanced oil recovery or products like plastics and carbon fibres.” 

The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the following projects under four areas of interest (AOI): 

AOI 1: Synthesis of Value-Added Organic Products

1. The Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, Illinois: Dehydrating membrane reactor for direct production of dimethyl carbonate from CO2 and hydrogen.

DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $269,664; Total: $1,269,664

2. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina: A novel molten salt system for CO2-based oxidative dehydrogenation with integrated carbon capture.

DOE Funding: $999,993; Non-DOE Funding: $254,637; Total: $1,254,630

3. Susteon Inc., Cary, North Carolina: Plasma assisted catalytic conversion of CO2 and propane to propylene and carbon.

DOE Funding: $999,722; Non-DOE Funding: $255,642; Total: $1,255,364

4. The University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware: A tandem electrolysis process for multi-carbon chemical production from CO2.

DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $250,000; Total: $1,250,00

5. The University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Kentucky: Intensified catalytic conversion of CO2 into high-value chemicals.

DOE Funding: $999,984; Non-DOE Funding: $250,113; Total: $1,250,097

6. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana: High-efficiency electrochemical conversion of CO2 to ethylene.

DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $250,000; Total: $1,250,000

7. The University of Louisville Research Foundation Inc., Louisville, Kentucky: Electrochemical reduction of flue gas CO2 to commercially viable tetrahydrofuran and C4 products.

DOE Funding: $1,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $269,664; Total: $1,269,664 

AOI 2: Production of Inorganic Materials: Solid Carbon Products

1. SkyNano LLC, Knoxville, Tennessee: Electrochemical production of highly valuable carbon nanotubes from flue gas-sources CO2.

DOE Funding: $2,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $500,000; Total: $2,500,000

AOI 3: Integrated CO2 Capture with Algae

1. The University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky: Ammonium hydroxide looping with membrane absorber and distributed stripper for enhanced algae growth.

DOE Funding: $2,999,564; Non-DOE Funding: $751,764; Total: $3,751,328

2. The University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science, Baltimore, Maryland: A highly efficient microalgae-based carbon sequestration system to reduce CO2 emissions from power plant flue gases.

DOE Funding: $3,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $750,002; Total: $3,750,002

AOI 4: Production of Inorganic Materials: Maximising Uptake in Concrete and Cement

1. The University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California: Achieving unprecedented CO2utilisation in CO2Concrete™: System design, product development, and process demonstration.

DOE Funding: $2,000,000; Non-DOE Funding: $905,000; Total: $2,905,000