158 – Innovations in Carbon Capture: Direct Air Capture, Hydrogen, and Ammonia Production with 8 Rivers

In episode 158 of the Insider’s Guide to Energy podcast, titled “Innovations in Carbon Capture: Direct Air Capture, Hydrogen, and Ammonia Production with 8 Rivers,” hosts Chris Sass and Jeff McAulay engage in a captivating exploration of carbon capture technology. They are joined by Adam Goff, the Senior Vice President of Strategy at 8 Rivers Capital, a pioneer in the field of carbon capture technologies. The episode commences with an in-depth discussion about Direct Air Capture (DAC) and its crucial role in the landscape of carbon management technologies. Goff, with his extensive experience in both the technological and policy aspects of carbon capture, offers a wealth of knowledge on government incentives such as the 45Q tax code and their impact on DAC.

Goff elucidates the intricate workings of 8 Rivers’ advanced DAC technology, which innovatively employs calcium to extract CO2 directly from the air. He describes how this groundbreaking process is not only technologically advanced but also rooted in historical methodologies, akin to those utilized by ancient civilizations like the Romans. The episode thoughtfully examines the commercial feasibility of DAC, addressing critical concerns about its high operational costs and the significant role of government subsidies and incentives in enhancing its economic viability.

Moreover, the podcast delves into the environmental implications and energy requirements of the DAC process, with a specific focus on the energy sources needed for operating the kilns integral to the process. Goff underscores the necessity for low-emission and economically viable energy sources, highlighting 8 Rivers’ proactive efforts in exploring diverse fuel options for kilns to ensure sustainable operations.

The conversation also encompasses the pivotal role of government initiatives in fostering the development of DAC technologies. Goff commends the recent strides in U.S. climate policy and emphasizes the instrumental role of tax incentives, particularly the 45Q tax credit, in lowering the costs associated with carbon capture. He points out the unique significance of this tax credit in promoting pure CO2 sequestration as opposed to its application in enhanced oil recovery.

A key aspect of the episode is the discussion on Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) practices, essential for verifying the effectiveness and permanence of carbon storage. Goff articulates the two-stage MRV process for DAC, which involves precise measurement of CO2 concentration changes and the assurance of secure underground storage.

In a more personal segment, Goff shares his journey into the realm of carbon capture, transitioning from policy work to active involvement in technology development. He reflects on his experiences at ClearPath, where he contributed to the early development of the 45Q carbon tax incentives, and his subsequent move to 8 Rivers Capital. This transition highlights the dynamic and evolving nature of the carbon capture industry and the diverse opportunities it presents for professionals passionate about climate change solutions.

The episode concludes with a glimpse into other groundbreaking projects by 8 Rivers, such as the production of ammonia from natural gas with complete carbon capture. This discussion showcases the company’s broad portfolio and commitment to addressing climate change through a variety of innovative technologies.

Overall, this podcast episode offers a comprehensive and insightful look into the latest advancements in carbon capture technology. It provides valuable insights for anyone interested in climate technology, policy implications, and the future of environmental sustainability, making it a must-listen for those keen on understanding and contributing to the fight against climate change.