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Periodic Report Summary 1 - ACCA (Atmospheric Carbon Capture)

Carbon dioxide emissions generated by fossil fuels utilisation are forcing a rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, approaching 450 ppm by 2035 and resulting in a 77-99% probability of exceeding 2°C global warming. The steady acceleration of the average global CO2 concentration in the atmosphere demonstrates that the initial plans for emissions reduction have not been put into action and additional solutions which could be disregarded decades ago, have to be included now. Direct air capture (DAC) enables CO2 removal from the ambient air. This is a measure to hit directly the cause of climate change by removing CO2 from any part of the economy.

Aligned to this necessity, Atmospheric Carbon Capture (ACCA) project aims to initiate the development of an innovative adsorption system to capture, purify and compress atmospheric CO2 for geological storage based on a sequence of adsorption stages powered by heat at 95°C. This goal is attained by targeting four distinct (though clearly interrelated) objectives. These objectives are:

1) Modelling of the system: the optimization of the system currently under development to maximize the performance and understanding the behaviour in different working conditions.

2) The theoretical investigation of adsorption materials: a systematic thermodynamic investigation on the equilibrium properties of the involved materials for defining the features which a material should have for allowing the optimal operation on the system.

3) The development of a proof-of-concept experimental apparatus for demonstrating the feasibility of the solution and for enabling the development of a future prototype.

4) The experimental investigation of materials: the equilibrium measurements on candidate materials and the screening of the potential modifications which might be made in order to approach the previously identified optimal equilibrium characteristics.

In agreement with the work-plan, the project so far has mainly focused on the first two objectives which can be considered almost achieved. Objectives 3 and 4 have been just started. Results have already been presented in one invited talk, specialized conferences and the fundamental investigations published in two journal papers, with further research outputs under review and in preparation. The need for special adsorption materials has been identified, as well as the need for further experimental evidences which will come from completion of objectives 3 and 4. The project has already significantly helped the Fellow in his research career development and integration in his new Host Institution, enabling him to develop new national, European and extra-European collaborations, obtain additional research funding (including participation in one further EU research project) and has contributed to the Fellow obtaining a leadership position in the scientific board of key conferences.

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Life Sciences
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