Economic analysis of state-of-the-art low concentration carbon capture methods

Maximilian Johannes Hansi

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Global emissions continue to rise every year, except for 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This makes it more challenging and less likely every year to achieve the climate goals, such as net zero by 2050 or limiting the temperature rise to well below 2°C. To still achieve these goals, large-scale and rapid scaling of Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) can make a valuable contribution in the near future. To accelerate scaling, it requires analysis on the current status and feasibility of NETs technologies such as Direct Air Capture (DAC). DAC has the major advantage of being non-site specific, making it especially important for energy-intensive sectors where emissions mitigation technology is not yet available. DAC can only provide a partial contribution to reducing emissions and thus does not compete with other NETs e.g., Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The target can only be achieved with a broad portfolio of NETs to complement the adopted emission reduction measures. In addition, the political side has to support the scaling of the new technologies, so that they have an impact on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In this paper, the different technological methods for DAC are investigated. Subsequently, the two most promising methods are selected and financially evaluated compared with each other in terms of economic viability by the use of an evaluation model. In the first part of the thesis, the current state of the art of DAC methods is highlighted by combining the most recent information on technical details from the literature with first pilot plants. In addition, the main global players in the DAC market are presented and all plants in operation are listed. After a detailed technical process description of the two most promising methods and their impact on land, water and environment, the net present value (NPV) method, which was chosen based on OMV¿s best practice experience, is applied for the financial valuation. The evaluation and comparison are achieved using key performance indicators (KPIs) and a sensitivity analysis. The performed comparison finally results in the main conclusion of a financial assessment of the economic viability for the two DAC projects.
Translated title of the contributionWirtschaftliche Analyse aktueller Methoden der CO2-Abscheidung bei niedriger CO2 Konzentration
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Siegmeth, Franz, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Posch, Wolfgang, Supervisor (internal)
  • De Nitto, Franca, Supervisor (external), External person
Award date30 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 27-04-2028


  • Direct Air Capture (DAC)
  • Negative Emission Technologies (NETs)
  • Investment calculation
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Liquid solvent system
  • Solid sorbent system
  • Net present value method

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