Southwest Wyoming’s Carbon Capture Project Competes for $1 Billion to Purify Air

Southwest Wyoming's Carbon Capture Project Competes for $1 Billion to Purify Air

Investors have already given CarbonCapture Inc. $80 million to help it build one of the biggest projects in the world to directly catch and store carbon dioxide in the air in southwestern Wyoming. Now the company has its sights set on an even bigger goal.

CarbonCapture, a clean technology company based in Los Angeles, announced last week that it wants to find strategic energy partners who want to help it find short- and long-term ways to generate and send power for what it calls the Wyoming Regional Direct Air Capture Hub.

Wyoming missed out on a similar energy project last fall, and the hub race is a lot like that.

Wyoming officials were upset that a $1.25 billion hydrogen hub for the Western region went to someone else in that competition, which had nothing to do with the direct air capture purchase.

There is $1.1 billion on the line in the direct air capture hub competition.

“It would be in Wyoming,” said Patricia Loria, vice president of business development for CarbonCapture, about the hub that her company wants to build if it wins the competition. “That’s for sure a huge chance.”

Loria told Cowboy State Daily that the U.S. Department of Energy is thinking about CarbonCapture and the group of partners it is putting together.

As part of the direct air carbon hub plan, DOE wants to add two more hub project participants. Last August, two groups were chosen, and Loria said that CarbonCapture was one of the finalists for one of the two open spots.

Making jobs

In August of last year, the DOE said it would give up to $1.2 billion to Texas and Louisiana for the first direct air capture trials in the country. These events would create a total of 4,800 jobs.

Battelle from Ohio, Climeworks AG from Switzerland, and Heirloom Carbon Technologies Inc. from San Francisco are working together in Louisiana to take more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air every year and store it underground.

1PointFive LLC, a part of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., is working on a direct air carbon facility in Texas with partners Carbon Engineering Ltd. of Canada and Worley Ltd. of Australia. The facility will remove 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year and have a saltwater holding site.

DOE gave $12.5 million to CarbonCapture and a group of key partners, including the University of Wyoming, last summer to build a megaton-scale direct air capture hub in southwestern Wyoming.

CarbonCapture worked on this project with Frontier Carbon Solutions LLC, a company based in Dallas. Their goal is to store the carbon dioxide in rock formations or use it as a raw material in the production of aviation fuel by partner Twelve Benefit Corp., a California-based chemical technology company.

The first part of CarbonCapture’s project to show how their technology works, called Project Bison, will start in 2025.

CarbonCapture will start getting rid of about 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year as part of this project. By 2030, this amount will have grown to 5 million tons a year, from the current 200,000 tons.

The project could start being built before the end of the year on farmers’ private land in Sweetwater County.

The size of Project Basin is huge, and it would take hundreds of 40-foot-long shipping containers with screens that would pull carbon dioxide out of the air.

When the filters are full, they are heated up to remove the carbon from the modules. The carbon is then pumped deep underground into salty pools to be stored permanently.

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