Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry

The cost of direct air capture and storage: the impact of technological learning, regional diversity, and policy.

Authors

  • John Young Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Noah McQueen Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA ,
  • Charithea Charalambous Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Spyros Foteinis Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Olivia Hawrot Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Manuel Ojeda Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Hélène Pilorgé Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA ,
  • John Andresen Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Peter Psarras Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA ,
  • Phil Renforth Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Susana Garcia Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK ,
  • Mijndert van der Spek Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK

Abstract

Direct air capture and storage (DACS) is a carbon dioxide removal technology that is necessary to reach our climate targets. However, huge question marks remain regarding the cost. In contrast to previous studies, we use a costing methodology that is truly consistent with the technology readiness level of DACS to calculate cost trajectories for four example DACS technologies. Our analysis demonstrates the cost of DACS is unlikely to reach the $100 t-CO2-1 target, as costs fall to $100-600 t-CO2-1 at the Gt-CO2 year-1 scale. Rational siting and energy source selection will be critical, and importantly, coupling DACS to low capacity factor intermittent renewable electricity is uneconomical. Although, sites with high renewable capacity factors do exist. Furthermore, strong, holistic, technology-catered policy support is needed to aid market creation, scale-up, and long-term cost reductions. The results and conclusions outlined in this work have significant implications for academics, industry, policymakers, and investors alike.

Version notes

Updated manuscript and ESI

Content

Thumbnail image of Young et al. 2022 DAC TEA update.pdf

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of ESI Young et al. 2022 DAC TEA update.pdf
Electronic supplementary information
Supplementary tables and figures to the main text.