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10a Direct Air Capture of CO2 and Utilization in Controlled-Environment Agriculture (DACC-UCEA)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0023869
Agency Tracking Number: 0000273953
Amount: $199,946.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C56-10a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002903
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-07-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-07-09
Small Business Information
29 West Main St.
Pulaski, VA 24301
United States
DUNS: 080841339
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Schott
 (540) 250-0376
Business Contact
 John Schott
Phone: (540) 250-0376
Research Institution

Controlled-environment agriculture, such as commercial greenhouses, add supplemental carbon dioxide to their indoor growing facilities to help improve crop yields. Currently, they acquire their supplemental carbon dioxide supply by burning natural gas or propane or by purchasing it directly for delivery and on-site storage.
Indoor farms typically have higher greenhouse gas emissions and are less energy efficient than traditional farming; as a result, business economics are highly dependent on energy costs and must be made more energy efficient to succeed and also achieve sustainability. Additionally, excess carbon dioxide in the air, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, is leading to atmospheric warming and climate change. Companies are developing direct air capture technology worldwide to remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. However, there are several significant hurdles that have harmed the economic viability of direct air capture preventing its widescale adoption. Notable hurdles include large system sizes, high energy requirements, and limited access to permanent carbon dioxide storage. The project approach to solving this important global problem is to install small-scale, modular direct air capture systems at controlled-indoor agriculture facilities to harvest supplemental carbon dioxide for use inside the grow environment. The primary objective for the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of deploying small-scale direct air capture at controlled-environment agriculture facilities and sustainably provide adequate levels of carbon dioxide. The project will entail testing and evaluating a small-scale direct air capture prototype to determine the feasibility of creating a unit with almost zero downtime and significant productivity increases for carbon dioxide harvesting. Also, the project will validate if the technology can provide sustainable CO2 concentrations for improved crop yields. Direct air capture for controlled-environment agriculture could lead to affordable deployments with a sustainable source of supplemental carbon dioxide and help reduce the farms reliance on fossil fuels. A more affordable direct air capture technology could be deployed virtually anywhere in the world and harvested carbon dioxide would be permanently removed from the atmosphere.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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