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Clearing the Air: The Race to Capture Carbon from Sky and Sea  

05 June 2023 2 minute read
Written by Paul Robb

Meeting our net zero goals and ambitions requires a range of carbon dioxide removal solutions with technologies such as direct air capture playing an important role in that journey. 

The technology for direct air and seawater capture of carbon dioxide is new, and the costs are currently too high. Innovation is therefore essential to develop and deploy affordable solutions. By 2030, the Net Zero Technology Centre aims to reduce onshore carbon capture costs by 15%, and deploy modular units on five installations, with seawater capture demonstrated at Technology Readiness Level 8.  

Academic partnership is critical to accelerating the development and deployment of novel clean technologies. Our Net Zero R&D Programme invests in industry–led,academically delivered end-to-end innovation projects to accelerate technology development through funded collaboration with Scottish Universities.  

These early TRL projects benefit from the universities’ resources and experience, paired with practical know-how through industry connections to help strengthen investment, ensure relevance, and deliver impact.  

Technology spotlight

Mission Zero Technologies 

To help achieve these goals, Mission Zero Technologies is developing a low-energy catalytic technology that requires less energy than other direct air capture technologies, helping to significantly reduce costs. 

McAlpha Inc 

Achieving net zero requires scalable solutions, and the Net Zero R&D Programme has identified McAlpha Inc. Canada’s inorganic hybrid membrane DAC technology has scalable potential, significantly reducing energy and material requirements compared with incumbent technologies. 

sHYp BV Ltd 

The Technology Driving Green Energy Growth report highlighted that achieving net zero requires disruptive innovation, and the direct ocean CO2 capture method being developed by sHYp BV Ltd fits this bill. The novel process captures carbon from untreated seawater feedstock without the need for purification, enabling the simultaneous production of affordable green hydrogen in offshore settings. 

B9 Energy Storage Ltd 

B9 Energy Storage Ltd is also developing innovative technology which utilises seawater for CO2 capture and produces green hydrogen as a by-product. Their membrane-free electrolyser system captures CO2 in a marine environment and produces green hydrogen in distributed facilities. 

The UK energy sector has a strong track record of innovation, a talent pool and the commitment to deliver low-carbon energy and economic growth. Investing in these low-TRL game-changing technologies is essential to achieving the North Sea Transition Deal targets and meeting UK’s net zero ambitions. 

NZTC’s Net Zero R&D Programme is funded in partnership with Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise & the Scottish Government. 

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