General Electric (GE) announced Tuesday that it had successfully developed a prototype system to pull carbon emissions from the atmosphere, with “larger scale demonstrations” planned for next year.
The direct air capture (DAC) system was developed in tandem with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) in addition to other industrial and academic partners, GE said in a press release. Investors and politicians are increasingly viewing DAC technology as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, although questions remain about whether the technology can scale, Axios reported.
“We know that to truly bring an economical, commercial-scale solution in DAC to the market, it will require a collaborative effort with government, industry, and academic partners,” David Moore, head of GE’s Carbon Capture Breakout Technology team, said in the press release. “If we do this right, we could have a commercially-deployable DAC solution around the end of this decade.”
The company has applied for part of the DOE’s $3.5 billion program to be involved in one of four large-scale regional DAC hubs, Axios reported. The technology has drawn criticism from some green activists, who view it as a way to protect the oil and gas industry by reducing emissions.
GE entered the DAC space roughly two and a half years ago, making it a relative newcomer to research in DAC, according to Axios. Moore told the outlet that the company’s familiarity with jet engines and gas turbines made it “arguably the best company in the world … when it comes to moving large quantities of air” and that the company could take advantage of its wide array of experts.
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