About Air Capture
Air capture is different from other forms of carbon capture in that it extracts CO2 directly from the atmosphere. Other carbon capture technologies typically extract CO2 from flue gases. The air capture process is known and requires separating carbon from ambient air, at low temperatures and at a concentration of about 400 parts per million, as opposed to high temperatures and 15,000 parts in the case of flue gas.
Air capture has gained momentum on both the policy and media fronts as a viable solution for reducing carbon emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced $2.3B in funding, including technology and research investment in carbon air capture technologies (DOE). This is the first time air capture has been explicitly called out as part of any DOE program. News articles in various publications such at Nature News and the New York Times can be accessed here.
Compared with flue gas extraction, GT's technology has multiple advantages including lower costs, proven processes, higher purity of CO2 gas, extraction at lower concentrations and more flexibility in location.
Air capture technologies are being introduced commercially on the market right now and there are several successful pilot demonstration plants. The first GT Pilot Plant has been erected at SRI International and a commercial demonstration plant is planned for the fall and winter months of 2010.