The Biden Administration has launched a new $3.5 billion (£2.79bn) programme to establish regional direct air capture hubs for large-scale removal of carbon dioxide in the US.
The Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs programme, which aims to capture and store CO2 pollution directly from the air, will support four large-scale hubs that will each consist of a network of CO2 removal projects to help address the impacts of climate change.
Direct air capture is a process that separates CO2 from ambient air, with the CO2 then permanently stored deep underground or converted for use in products like concrete that prevents its release back into the atmosphere.
The hubs will have the capacity to capture and permanently store at least one million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually, either from a single unit or from multiple interconnected units.
The US Department of Energy estimates by midcentury, CO2 removal will need to be deployed at gigaton scale.
One gigaton of subsurface sequestered CO2 is equivalent to the annual emissions from the US light-duty vehicle fleet – the equivalent of around 250 million vehicles driven annually.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “The UN’s latest climate report made clear that removing legacy carbon pollution from the air through direct air capture and safely storing it is an essential weapon in our fight against the climate crisis.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is funding new technologies that will not only make our carbon-free future a reality but will help position the US as a net zero leader while creating good-paying jobs for a transitioning clean energy workforce.”