Rolls-Royce secures £3m to create carbon-busting ‘giant lung’

Rolls-Royce has been awarded £3m in Government funding to create a Direct Air Capture (DAC) system which could play a key role in keeping global temperature rises at bay.

The DAC, which will be built in Derby, will help to keep temperature rises to below 1.5C by removing more than 100 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

Funding for the project has come from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) via the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Jess Poole, direct air capture lead for Rolls-Royce, said: “Every credible climate change model requires us to decarbonise today’s emissions, as well as removing CO2 already in the atmosphere via carbon negative technologies such as DAC. Our system combines our expertise in moving large quantities of air efficiently and integrating complex systems, which have been gained from designing world-leading jet engines, with novel DAC technology developed by CSIRO.

“Together the system works like a giant lung, sucking in air, absorbing the CO2, and releasing what is not wanted. We use a water-based liquid to wash around 50% of the CO2 from the captured air. Our technology is distinctive because very little water is used, and the liquid is recycled at low temperatures, making it energy efficient. Other technologies consume a lot of water and require substantial amounts of energy to generate heat for the separation of the CO2.

“This funding is great news for the team, and we’re excited about the future potential of this technology to help fight climate change.”

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