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Southern Company’s Joseph M. Farley nuclear power plant in Columbia, Alabama will be the location of a direct air capture (DAC) study, boosted by about $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle will conduct a front-end engineering design (FEED) study to deploy the DAC system developed by AirCapture LLC.

The project will define system costs, performance and business-case options for leveraging available energy from the nuclear plant to separate CO2 from ambient air for off-site geologic storage. Although nuclear plants do not produce any carbon emissions, direct air capture would remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere, a possible next-generation technology being explored to help combat the climate crisis.

Battelle will be collaborating in the study with Carbonvert Inc, Sargent & Lundy, Southern Company and the University of Alabama.

The project is part of a $14 million investment from the DOE aimed at scaling up direct air capture and storage technology.

In April 2022 we reported Constellation and several partners would receive $2.5 million in DOE funding to study DAC at the company’s Byron nuclear plant in northern Illinois.

In that proposed study, a chemical solution would be added to water flowing through the facility’s main condenser on the non-nuclear side of the Byron plant. After traveling through the condenser, the water would travel out to the cooling towers, where CO2 in the air would attach itself to the chemical solution and be captured and sequestered. It would then, potentially, be used later in industrial processes that would have net zero emissions, from creating sustainable aviation fuel to beverage industry production.

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