Sister industries/technologies to Direct Air Capture

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Sarah Burgess

Feb 27, 2023, 10:08:54 AM2/27/23
Hi CDR Experts, 

I'm a consultant who is interested in Direct Air Capture and community engagement. My question to this group is: what industry or technology is most similar to Direct Air Capture? 

Some comparisons I've heard include: 
  • Like where solar was 30 years ago - tech is developed but now it needs to scale so the price can come down 
  • Like wind farms - lots of fans!
  • Most like various chemical processing plants (have heard this general comparison made, but would love to hear from you experts - which type of chemical processing exactly) 
Thanks all for any input you can provide. 


Andrew Lockley

Feb 27, 2023, 10:18:38 AM2/27/23
to Sarah Burgess, <>
Depends which tech you're discussing. Carbon engineering is like big chemical factories. Verdox is more like solar modules. 

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Bruce Melton -- Austin, Texas

Feb 27, 2023, 2:16:09 PM2/27/23

The main atmospheric carbon dioxide capture processes today use 1) amines, and 2) recyclable lime and potash.

Amine processes  -  dyes, nylon, medicines, cooling systems, surfactants, cosmetics, agrochemicals, corrosion inhibitor, machining fluids, powder coatings, polyurethane, epoxy coatings...

Potash-lime process  -  potash is a main ingredient in fertilizers, plus; aluminum recycling, electroplating, oil-well drilling fluid, snow and ice melting, steel heat-treating, pharmaceutical, water softening, industrial water treatment, soap, animal feed supplements, cement, fire extinguishers, food products, photographic chemicals, textiles, brewing beer, synthetic rubber, coatings, food production, water softening, road de-icing, pH adjustment, explosives,  glassmaking...

Lime  -  Mortar, cement, concrete, water treatment, food processing, agrochemicals, iron and steel production, treating contaminated land, paper, glass, pharmaceuticals, paint, ink, plastic, rubber, and in chemical processes for bleach, citric acid, magnesia, calcium acetate, stearate, oleate, tartrate, lactate, citrate, benzoate, and gluconate...

These three chemicals together represents what are likely some of the most important chemicals in industry globally an the lists above are very incomplete. The processes used to capture CO2 from the air using these chemicals date from the early 20th century.



Bruce Melton PE
Director, Climate Change Now Initiative, 501c3
President, Melton Engineering Services Austin
8103 Kirkham Drive
Austin, Texas 78736
The Band Climate Change
Twitter - BruceCMelton1

Michael Hayes

Feb 27, 2023, 5:10:27 PM2/27/23
to Sarah Burgess, Carbon Dioxide Removal
Sarah, if alkiline seawater is sprayed into the air, just that will directly 'capture' and/or 'convert' CO2. Exactly how much of each still needs to be verified. This form of Direct Ocean Capture/Conversion makes many of the limitations found in typical DAC operations rather moot.

Most importantly, creating alkiline seawater using electrolysis can generate a H2 fuel as a byproduct. Addressing both DAC, or DOC, technical needs and emissions reduction needs can use the same tech basket.

The technical basket needed for this form of mCDR is available now, the governance of such a potentially large industry is being created now through the efforts of the likes of NOAA, ARPA-E, and the socio-political concerns including indigenous communities and small island nations are a priority.

Best regards 

Tom Goreau

Feb 27, 2023, 7:33:01 PM2/27/23
to Michael Hayes, Sarah Burgess, Carbon Dioxide Removal

Equilibration between CO2 and bicarbonate is slow process, limited by the kinetics of CO2 hydration to carbonic acid, which is greatly speeded up by the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which evolved specifically to overcome this limitation.


Thomas J. F. Goreau, PhD
President, Global Coral Reef Alliance

Chief Scientist, Blue Regeneration SL
President, Biorock Technology Inc.

Technical Advisor, Blue Guardians Programme, SIDS DOCK

37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Skype: tomgoreau
Tel: (1) 617-864-4226 (leave message)



Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase


Innovative Methods of Marine Ecosystem Restoration


No one can change the past, everybody can change the future


It’s much later than we think, especially if we don’t think


Those with their heads in the sand will see the light when global warming and sea level rise wash the beach away


Geotherapy: Regenerating ecosystem services to reverse climate change


Clive Elsworth

Feb 28, 2023, 12:32:16 AM2/28/23
to Tom Goreau, Michael Hayes, Sarah Burgess, Carbon Dioxide Removal
Yes, so better to let nature do it on a vast scale by very diffusely fertilising large areas of ocean by aerosol, mimicking the effect of airborne dust.
Even better, deploy cheap floating habitat that poses is no danger to shipping, to allow larger organisms to grow and then detach and sink quickly without depleting oxygen to the seabed, where they pile up in anoxic sediments. Such sediments sequester carbon permanently and release alkalinity and further nutrients by natural processes that have been taking place for billions of years.

Bruce Melton -- Austin, Texas

Feb 28, 2023, 11:33:28 AM2/28/23

Industrialization success of air capture of CO2 depends upon the cost per ton in the long term where direct capture mineralization (or partial mineralization like with sea water) is in earlier stages of industrialization than the lime-potash or amine processes developed in the early 20th century. In the short term what matters is investment dollars and capturing market share via scaling and these two legacy technologies have hundreds of billions already committed. (See the attached list of popular and journal articles below on the current state of carbon capture industrialization.) Mineralization or enhanced natural processes could take away the coming market share if efficiency proves to be significantly greater than legacy tech, but it will likely take a while as those who attain market share first through scaling and costs reductions will retain that market for some time, even if other technologies are much more efficient because, the infrastructure for first to market will already exist and capture the majority or vast majority of incentives.

None of this would be possible without incentives either positive or negative. The Inflation Reduction Act's (IRA) enhancements to the IRS Section 45Q pay (either tax break or direct cash) is a positive incentive that pays cash or tax incentives to capture and store carbon, and things like the  Clean Power Plan (CCP), that was foiled by trump before it could get off the ground, are negative incentives that regulate carbon through limits or fees on production of CO2.

Another important thing about incentives and "none of this being possible" and the perceived failures of built facilities for carbon capture and storage from flue gas and other carbon capture and storage programs (oil and gas production and bio energy with carbon capture and storage - BECCS) is that, these built facilities that have received large amounts of press with perceived failures (Petra Nova is a poster child), were simply full scale demonstration units. A demonstration unit is a temporary test facility independent of positive financial returns. Its creation is intended to test the full scale tech and provide production design enhancements to overcome obvious first generation production challenges. If the production challenges can be overcome, the redesign or next facility construction then goes into financial production if the revenues are available.

This is the catch-22. Even if a full-scale demonstration unit is proven, if there are  no revenues, the until will not be put into permanent production because without the incentive(s) it will only bleed money.

The poster child example of Petra Nova's flue gas capture illustrates: This full-scale production facility achieved 85 percent of its design goals and was operating in the black with their enhanced oil recovery (EOR) sequestration at $65 per barrel oil, where revenues from EOR plus the former (trump) IRS 45Q incentive of $35 a ton CO2 sequestered with EOR created a positive revenue stream. When covid caused a collapse of the oil market the unit was shut down because of financials, not because it "failed" as was widely reported in the popular literature. Then as oil rebounded, a fire at the Thompson unit generating facility where Petra Nova is located, plus several of the Petra Nova component challenges, caused the owners to decide to upgrade the obvious component challenges at the unit to increase efficiency by 30 percent making Petra Nova viable with $45 per barrel oil. The unit is currently in the redesign and rebuild process. It didn't "fail" at all.

The IRS 45Q timeline: Obama started 45Q with $10 and $25 a ton tax incentive for EOR and sequestration without EOR. The pay was only a tax incentive and only for flue gas capture. Trump then tripled the pay to $35 and $50 a ton plus added direct air capture. The Green New Deal then tripled trump's enhancements but of course it went nowhere. Then the IRA picked up the Green New Deal's enhancements almost verbatim and we are currently in the final stages of rule making for this much enhanced 45Q at $85 and $180 a ton CO2.

Happy trails,


Ongoing Industrialization of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Sequestration ... Industrialize

Industry seems to think there is money here, lots of it. Industrialization is moving forward fast indicating that these processes are revenue generating programs.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Processes - New or Mature? ... We have been using industrial processes to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere since 1907 when the recyclable lime/potash process was developed and widely used in World War II to remove CO2 from submarines to keep sailors safe from carbon dioxide poisoning, since the 1930s with cryogenic distillation, and also since the 1930s with amine chemicals (ammonia–based) where amines are now one of the most important chemicals in industry.

December 3, 2022, NGK CO2 air capture – 1) Ceramic substrate and 2) Freezing with Natural Gas excess cold from compressor stations… 1) Ceramic substrate like automobile catalytic converters, unspecified capture agent, normal liberation heating, 2) and cold from natural gas compression to "liquefied" before transmissionto freeze the CO2 out of the ab-adsorbant.
Shimizu, New technology to capture CO2 from air set for Japan trials, Nikkei Financial,November 28, 2022.

November 26, 2022, One Million Tons Per Yera "Hub" in Louisiana by 2030... "Direct air capture (DAC) company Climeworks and Louisiana-based Gulf Coast Sequestration (GCS) signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 21 to develop the first DAC hub on the Gulf Coast in Louisiana. The project aims to enable the permanent removal of one million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by the end of the decade, with the potential to expand to multi-million-ton capacity in future years."
Doneva, Climeworks And Gulf Coast Sequestration Partner To Launch Direct Air Capture Hub On The Gulf Coast In Louisiana, Carbon Herald, November 22, 2022.

November 20, 2022, $882 million in carbon capture funding, 2nd quarter 2022…

September 8, 2022 - Project Bison, Wyoming, 5 million tons per year by 2030, a Direct Air Capture (DAC) project of Frontier Carbon Solutions and CarbonCapture, Inc. … "A Los Angeles-based company kicked off on Thursday what it said will be the first large-scale direct air capture (DAC) project to capture and store 5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030, benefiting from new U.S. government incentives." Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta, McKinsey
CarbonCapture Inc. Announces Five Megaton Direct Air Capture and Storage Project in Wyoming…
CarbonCapture, Inc, modular… "A generalized DAC platform for solid sorbents that allows for incremental upgrades, minimizes obsolescence, and speeds up development cycles." Sorbents include amines, MOFs (metal-organic framework), zeolites and more.
EXCLUSIVE New law helps U.S. firm launch Wyoming direct air carbon capture project…

CycloneCC – worlds smallest carbon capture tech…

Carbon Xprize … 1133 teams

Carbon Engineering

November 9, 2022, 20% increase in first plant cost due to inflation, number of proposed plants up from 70 to 100 because of IRA… "Government incentives and passage of the Inflation Reduction Act allow it to plan 100 DAC facilities by 2035, from 70 before, Hollub said. Land for half of them has been secured."
Valle and Soni, Occidental's project to capture CO2 takes a hit from inflation, Rueters, November 9, 2022.

October 31, 2022, 1PointFive, 30 million tons per year, no EOR, 20 percent improvement in capture efficiency … Carbon Engineering begins work on supporting multi-million tonne Direct Air Capture facilities in Kleberg County, Texas (King Ranch). The site is expected to provide access for the potential construction of multiple DAC facilities that would be capable of collectively removing up to 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually for dedicated sequestration.
Carbon Engineering Press Release -


August 25, 2022 Occidental, OnePointFive, Carbon Engineering, Permian Basin – Construction update, PH1 500,000 tons/yr

06/07/22 Occidental 1PointeFive…
An oil-company spinoff wants to help build 70 direct air capture plants by 2035

DAC1, IEA on Carbon Engineering , Oxy and The Permian facility… "In Q1 2021, OLCV awarded the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase to global professional services provider Worley. The FEED phase of DAC 1 is focused on a first capture train with a planned capture capacity of 0.5 MtCO2/year; the total capacity of the project will subsequently increase to 1.0 MtCO2/year. The project is supported by a multi-million dollar investment from United Airlines, and, upon approvals, two key policies: California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the United States’ 45Q tax credit."


July 12, 2022, Drax, North Yorkshire UK $2 billion British pounds for 8 million tons per year through BECCS (forest pellets)… First unit operational in 2024. "The company plans to invest £2bn in the 2020s in its plans to develop two bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) units."

September 21, 2022, Drax commits to 12 million tons Co2 per year…  "Drax aims to deliver 12 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide removals per year using BECCS by 2030 and this deal will relate to the CDRs produced from Drax’s North American BECCS facilities."


May 10, 2022, Bayou Bend Project - Talos, Carbonvert Bring Chevron Aboard to Propel CCUS Project Offshore Texas…  225-275 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the shallow waters near Beaumont and Port Arthur.

March 23, 2022 - Occidental and Carbon Engineering in the Permian…  good new numbers and 70 Air capture hubs, three operational by 2025.

Occidental Chemicals and Carbon, MIT -
Temple, Why the world’s biggest CO2-sucking plant would be used to … err, dig up more oil? And how it might even be a good thing. MIT Technology Review, May 27, 2019

Oxy Net-Zero Goal, December 3, 2020 -


July 25, 2022 –Air Products Announces Additional "Third by ‘30" CO2 Emissions Reduction Goal, Commitment to Net Zero by 2050, and Increase in New Capital for Energy Transition to $15 Billion… Air products claims they will be the world's largest when completed. $15 billion total investment 2022 includes 30 percent reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030, in addition to Scope1 and 2 reductions.

October 14, 2021 – Air Products, 5 Million tons per year… Louisiana: $4.5 Billion, 5 million tons per year, online in 2026 from Blue Hydrogen reformation out of natural gas. -

HOUSTON, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 1PointFive announced today its selection of Worley for the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase of its first direct air capture (DAC) facility in the U.S. Permian Basin—DAC 1.

Carbon Engineering Funders, March 21, 2019 – Occidental Chemicals, Bill Gates, Murray Edwards, BHP, Chevron Technology Ventures, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC, Bethel Lands Corporation Ltd, Carbon Order, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Rusheen Capital Management, LLC, Starlight Ventures, Thomvest Asset Management and others.'s%20investors%20now%20include%3A%20Bill,an%20affiliate%20of%20Peter%20J.

Carbon Engineering and Storegga, (June 23, 2021) 500,000 to 1,000,000 tons per year in Scotland, operational in 2026…

Exxon Mobile and Global Thermostat, September 21, 2020 - "Expanded their joint development agreement following 12 months of technical evaluation… Global Thermostat's 'breakthrough technology' using amines… ExxonMobil has more than 30 years of experience in CCS technology and was the first company to capture more than 120 million tonnes of CO2… $3 billion to advance plans for over 20 new CCS opportunities: U.S. Gulf Coast, Wyoming, Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Singapore, Qatar ."
Press Release -
MIT Technology Review, June 28, 2019 -

University of Arizona (Klaus Lackner) and Silicon Kingdom Holdings (SKH) April 29, 2019 -

University of Arizona (Klaus Lackner) Carbon Collect (formerly Silocn Kingdom) April 15, 2022 - April 15, 2022 - Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree, based on the research of ASU engineer Klaus Lackner, will collect carbon from the atmosphere and help fight climate change - First 'MechanicalTree' installed on ASU’s Tempe campus.
Carbon Collect -

Blue Planet and Mitsubishi
September 23, 2020 - Mitsubishi is working to develop technology for locking CO2 in concrete as part of a separate project with Japanese construction group Kajima and Hiroshima-based utility Chugoku Electric Power

Blue Planet and Chevron
Houston, Texas, January 14, 2021 — Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today announced a Series C investment in San Jose-based Blue Planet Systems Corporation (“Blue Planet”), a startup that manufactures and develops carbonate aggregates and carbon capture technology intended to reduce the carbon intensity of industrial operations.

ExxonMobil, February 1, 2021… $3 Billion, mostly on 20 direct air capture projects. "ExxonMobil has more than 30 years of experience in CCS technology and was the first company to capture more than 120 million tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to the emissions of more than 25 million cars for one year. The company has an equity share in about one-fifth of global CO2 capture capacity and has captured approximately 40 percent of all the captured anthropogenic CO2 in the world."

Exxon Labarge, Wyoming,  expands to 8 million tons per year from 6 to 7 million tons, May 5, 2022…
ExxonMobil to Expand Carbon Capture and Storage at LaBarge, Wyoming, Facility

Exxon Labarge EPA Verification Plan, 2018…

Climeworks... $76 million 2020, Microsoft and Shopify
Climeworks Begins Operations at Carbfix, Reykjavik, Iceland

Petra Nova – next process and Covid Shutdown…

Parish Fire, Petra Nova and possible shutdown of Parish…



June 27, 2022, Exxon Mobile China, 10 million tons per year, Dayawan Petrochemical… 

April 30, 2021, Chinas largest O&G producer CNOOC is building 300,000 ton CO2 per year air capture facility in the South China Sea; undersea saline aquifer sequestration…

June 14, 2021, Eight large-scale carbon capture and utilization projects are scheduled by 2025 in China, $450 billion…


Gulf Coast Carbon CO2 Capture, Sequestration and Utilization Hub Carbon Hub, Carbon Capture Hub

December 14, 2022 - Infrastructure Act funding competition launched… $3.5 billion for four regional hubs. First round $1.2 billion from $3 million to $500 million matching funds, application deadline January 24, 2023. The remaining $2.3 billion round in 2024.

December 14, 2022, DOE releases record funding for removing carbon, By Corbin Hiar, Carlos Anchondo, EE News

September 23, 2022 – DOE $4.9 billion from Bipartisan Infrastructure Act for point source CO2 capture ($2.54 B), pipeline design ($110 m), and storage, validation and testing ($2.25 B)
The Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program will provide up to $2.54 billion to develop six integrated carbon capture, transport and storage projects that can be deployed at power plants or other industrial facilities, including cement, pulp and paper, iron, steel, and certain types of chemical plants.

-  Carbon Dioxide Transport, Engineering, and Design will provide up to $100 million to design regional carbon dioxide pipeline networks to safely transport captured CO2.

-  Carbon Storage Validation, and Testing will provide up to $2.25 billion to develop new and expanded large-scale, commercial carbon storage projects with the capacity to store at least 50 million metric tons of CO2.
Exclusive: Energy Department announces nearly $4.9 billion for carbon management
(scroll down)

July 28, 2022, The Big Business of Burying Carbon, Wired… A good article on what's really happening with carbon hubs in Port Arthur and Louisiana 

May 19, 2022, DOE Announces Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Effort to Establish Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs for Large-Scale CO2 Removal… $3.5 billion NOI to fund – " Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $3.5 billion program to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution directly from the air. The Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program will support four large-scale, regional direct air capture hubs that each comprise a network of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) projects to help address the impacts of climate change, creating good-paying jobs and prioritizing community engagement and environmental justice."

May 20, 2022, Federal Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act (Whitehouse and Coons)… accelerating U.S. global leadership in carbon dioxide removal technologies

H.R.7434 – Federal Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act… Starting at $500 ton, reducing thereafter

One Pager Scale Act…

May 5, 2022, Chevron joins first-of-its-kind Gulf Coast carbon sequestration project…

November 2021 - FYI on Lease 257 and CO2 injection… Takeaway - "Of the 317 bids the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received – the highest since 2014 – about 140 of them were for tracts located in shallow waters of the Texas and Louisiana coast, inexpensive areas with depleted oil and gas reserves. 'The oil and gas reserves in those areas are pretty much tapped out at this point, so it's hard for me to imagine a company going in there with the idea of producing more oil and gas,' said Hugh Daigle, a petroleum researcher and professor at the University of Texas. 'This is probably a CCS push.' "
Carbon capture plays prominent role in latest Gulf lease auction, S&P Global, Commodity Insights, 18 Nov 2021.
(Free account required)

ExxonMobil bids on 94 shallow-water tracts - Auction confirms Gulf's carbon capture potential
Carbon capture and storage played a large role in Lease Sale 257, which recorded a bumper crop of bids from oil and gas producers Nov. 17 for drilling rights in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Of the 317 bids the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received – the highest since 2014 – about 140 of them were for tracts located in shallow waters of the Texas and Louisiana coast, inexpensive areas with depleted oil and gas reserves. "The oil and gas reserves in those areas are pretty much tapped out at this point, so it's hard for me to imagine a company going in there with the idea of producing more oil and gas," said Hugh Daigle, a petroleum researcher and professor at the University of Texas. "This is probably a CCS push."

The largest bidder for shallow-water tracts was ExxonMobil, which placed bids on 94 tracts worth $158,000 apiece, according to BOEM data. The company's tracts are clustered in the Brazos Area, the Galveston Area and the High Island Area – locations in close proximity to the company's announced $100 billion CCS hub that will be located in southeast Texas. ExxonMobil didn't confirm whether the 94 tracts it placed bids on will be used for CCS. In a Nov. 18 statement to S&P Global Platts, the company said it "will work with the Department of the Interior on plans for the blocks once they are awarded."

"ExxonMobil takes a long-term business view. We will evaluate the seismic and subsurface geology for future commercial potential," it said. Other shallow-water tracts that received bids from companies were located off the coast of Louisiana, close to large onshore sources of CO2 emissions and existing transportation infrastructure.

The Gulf CCS push indicated by the shallow-water bids should come as no surprise considering investors' increasing focus on environmental standards and the growing number of net-zero commitments amongst traditional oil and gas companies. Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal reported that ExxonMobil is considering a 2050 net-zero pledge but has yet to make a firm commitment.

"This is the first big lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico that has come after a lot of these companies have made various carbon commitments," Daigle said. "And in light of that, it's probably not surprising that you're starting to see some of these leasing decisions being driven not just by oil and gas production, but by other economic interests of the company."

March 2021 - Bipartisan group introduces nation’s first comprehensive CO2 infrastructure bill…

July 11, 2021, Gulf Coast ready to develop Carbon Storage Hub…
The stage is set for a new carbon storage economy to emerge along the Gulf Coast, according to a study led by The University of Texas at Austin. "$100 billion or more"    -- 50 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030. By 2040, it could be 100 million metric tons: Average 75 million tons annually for 18 years, 1.35 billion tons total, $74 per ton.
Gulf Coast ready to develop Carbon Storage Hub, Carbon Capture Journal, July 11, 2021.

November 17, 2021, Calma, Exxon’s new Gulf of Mexico leases aren’t what they seem, The Verge…

November 17, 2021, Exxon Eyes CCS in Active US Gulf Lease Sale…
November 17, Energy Intelligence Group

May 19, 2021, Gulf Coast Carbon Center (BCCC) Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas…
Full Paper - Meckel et al., Carbon capture  utilization and storage hub development on the Gulf Coast, Greenhouse Gases Science and Technology, May 19, 2021.

April 19, 2021, ExxonMobil Statement, $100 Billion…
The promise of carbon capture and storage, and a Texas-sized call to action

and AP, 110221, Exxon seeks $100 billion for Houston carbon capture plan…

April 14, 2022, Exxon Mobile Australia 2 million tons per year in design, Gippsland Project…

Bruce Melton PE
Director, Climate Change Now Initiative, 501c3
President, Melton Engineering Services Austin
8103 Kirkham Drive
Austin, Texas 78736
The Band Climate Change
Twitter - BruceCMelton1

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