Rolls-Royce to develop carbon capture technology

Rolls-Royce has secured a £3m government grant to support the development of technology designed to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

The funding for the demonstrator Direct Air Capture (DAC) system comes from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) through the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

It follows initial phase one funding of £250,000 awarded in 2021, which allowed Rolls-Royce to design the demonstrator in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The demonstrator, to be built in Derby, will be operational during 2023 and be capable of removing more than 100 tonnes of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. 

CO2 removed from the atmosphere by such systems can be stored ensuring that it no longer contributes to global warming. It can also be recycled to make fuel for hard to decarbonise sectors such as aviation, enabling the more rapid phase out of fossil fuels.

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 per cent 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.”

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