Nine US-based direct air capture (DAC) projects are set to benefit from $24m from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to fight against the climate crisis.

Announcing its support on Tuesday (17th August), DOE recognised DAC as both an expanding field and a key facet of the US’ plans to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

The nine awards are led by two national laboratories and seven universities. Each project tackles topics such as discovery of novel materials, the process of extracting CO2 from the air and studies on CO2 capture for sequestration or reuse.

Washington State University and Oklahoma State University are set to benefit from $4.8m of the funding. Under the project, energy efficient approaches to convert carbon dioxide capture into useful products will be explored.

The University of Illinois, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Case Western Reserve University is set to benefit from $9m to advance novel approaches that use electricity or light to control the capture and/or release of CO2.

North Carolina A&T State University, Oregon State University, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will explore new materials and chemical compounds with the potential for improved efficiency for carbon dioxide capture and regeneration and will receive $6.6m.

Finally, Northwestern University will examine how the dynamical behaviour of promising carbon capture systems impacts CO2 capture and release. The university will receive $3.3m

On the technologies and DOE’s support, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, said, “Finding ways to remove and store carbon directly from the air is an absolute necessity in our fight against the climate crisis.

“This investment in carbon capture technology research through universities and DOE laboratories will position America as a leader in this growing field, create good-paying jobs, and help make our carbon-free future a reality.”