(47b) National Energy Technology Laboratory Direct Air Capture Center | AIChE

(47b) National Energy Technology Laboratory Direct Air Capture Center

In 2022 Congress authorized the $25M National Energy Technology Laboratory Direct Air Capture Center. The facility will be specifically targeted at accelerating the commercialization of technologies beyond the conceptual stage which have not yet reached full pilot-scale (TRL 3 to 6). The ability to operate over a wide range of conditions will help the developers to understand how their technologies respond in different climates, from summer to winter and arid to tropical.

NETL recognizes that DAC technology is still early in its evolution, and a wide variety of highly varied technologies are being explored. The Center will be designed with substantial flexibility to accommodate the rapidly evolving technological landscape. Testing systems at three scales will be included: lab-scale systems designed to examine the long-term stability of DAC materials, bench-scale module testing systems capable of probing flow dynamics, and small pilot-scale skid rooms able to test prototype DAC units under a wide variety of climate conditions. The NETL DAC Center will feature dedicated engineering, technician, scientific and logistical support for experimental system design, installation, operation of experiments, and interpretation of results for projects including but not limited to kinetics of absorption/desorption, thermal duty, and post-mortem elemental characterization to understand degradation.

The NETL DAC Center projects will also have access to dedicated process modeling and analysis to evaluate the technoeconomic aspects of new technologies. NETL’s Systems Engineering and Analysis (SEA) team, the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI), and the Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) are all potential collaborators with NETL’s testing partners from industry, academia, and other research institutions. NETL also has world class capabilities in device scale modeling (i.e., MFIX) that will be available to help design more efficient contactors and optimize unique internal configurations that can be realized by advanced manufacturing.

The talk will cover the design and capabilities of the center, the planned availability, and feedback will be solicited from the audience on DAC testing needs.