Geothermal power company Fervo Energy said it will design and engineer an integrated geothermal and direct air capture (DAC) facility with financial support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Terms of the funding deal were not disclosed.

In a DAC facility, fans move air over materials that capture carbon dioxide. The captured carbon dioxide is heated, concentrated, and then, in many instances, pumped underground. To operate economically and sustainably, DAC requires a reliable source of carbon-free electricity and heat. Fervo said its designs for a combined geothermal and direct air capture facility can provide an “innovative solution” that will “lower the cost of carbon removal.”

Fervo said it has adapted horizontal drilling techniques and distributed fiber optic sensing to its application. The funding from CZI is expected to help Fervo leverage geothermal resources to provide carbon-free power and heat to DAC systems and explore the potential for local subsurface carbon sequestration.

The announcement follows news that the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory is establishing a $25 million Direct Air Capture Center at the lab’s Pittsburgh campus.

The facility aims to jumpstart development of DAC technologies that can lower the quantities of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

DAC is an emerging technology that processes air from the atmosphere rather than a power plant or factory flue gas to capture CO2 emitted from multiple sources. 

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