Direct air capture is a technology to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. The CO2 can be permanently stored in deep geological formations or used in the production of fuels, chemicals, building materials, and other products containing CO2. When CO2 is geologically stored, it is permanently removed from the atmosphere, resulting in negative emissions.
DAC was suggested in 1999 and is still in development, though several commercial plants are in operation or planning across Europe and the US. Large-scale DAC deployment may be accelerated when connected with economic use cases, or policy incentives. DAC can act as a carbon dioxide removal tool, although as of 2021 it is not profitable because the cost per tonne of carbon dioxide is several times the carbon price.
Practical applications of DAC include:
- Enhanced oil recovery
- Production of carbon-neutral synthetic fuel and plastics
- Beverage carbonation
- Carbon sequestration
- Improving concrete strength