Among the 15 winners were Rolls-Royce, EDF, the University of Exeter, which is developing a system to remove CO2 from seawater, and SAC Commercial, which is developing technology to capture methane produced by cattle.
Both Rolls-Royce and EDF won £3m to fund a Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, with EDF suggesting that it could use excess heat from its proposed Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, England, to power the technology. A demonstration unit is to be built at the University of Nottingham.
DAC technology uses chemical reactions to capture CO2 from the air which can then be either stored or re-used for industrial purposes.
The UK has said that greenhouse gas removal technology will play a major role in its effort to meet a climate target of net zero emissions by 2050 and the government is looking to remove as much as 25 million tonnes of CO2 a year from the atmosphere by 2030.