Breyer, C., Fasihi, M., Bajamundi, C., & Creutzig, F.

Direct Air Capture of CO2: A Key Technology for Ambitious Climate Change Mitigation

in Joule, 18.09.2019

Peer Review , Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport

The Paris Agreement and especially its indicative 1.5°C target pose a dramatic challenge for the energy system, requiring both, unprecedented decarbonisation and at least a limited amount of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) 1. Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 is increasingly expected to emerge as a key technology in the decades to come. As a result, start-ups back DAC with substantial investments and innovation 2, as  cost  reduction  potential is  substantial 2,3, and overall efficiency in  extracting CO2 is comparably high 4. DAC is an  enabling technology useful for CDR, first, direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) 5 and second, as CO2 utilisation  (DACCU)  for  fuels  in the  transport sector,  in  particular  marine,  aviation,  and chemical industry, where sustainable options are hardly existing 6. DACCS has not yet been established as a major CDR option 1, for factors like perceived high costs and substantial energy input requirement 7, despite of substantial benefits offered compared to the mainly considered bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS), such as required land area, water demand, technology learning, scalability, and life-cycle aspects 4. DAC technology is in accordance with the sustainability guardrails for energy systems.

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