Avnos, a Los Angeles-based direct air capture technology company, has teamed up with Southern California Gas Company in a new commercial pilot to test the first water-positive direct air capture (DAC) system for carbon dioxide removal.
The pilot was developed with funding from the Department of Energy and will take place in Bakersfield, California. The project will remove approximately 30 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide and produce 150 tons of water per year.
The new platform inverts the water paradigm in DAC, producing 5 tons of liquid distilled water per ton of carbon captured. Other DAC approaches consume 5-10 tons of water per ton of carbon captured, by comparison. This hybrid technology expands the geographic and climatic operating range for DAC.
“Removing legacy carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere is essential to addressing the negative effects of our changing climate, one of the most pressing issues of our lifetime,” Will Kain, CEO at Avnos, said in a statement. “Doing so without further strain on our natural resources is something that the team at Avnos has worked tirelessly to achieve. We take a great deal of pride in launching this pilot, thereby proving the efficacy and scalability of our unique HDAC solution.”
Carbon Capture Technologies
Carbon capture and storage has seen massive growth over the past few years, with major companies such as Amazon being big buyers of the technology solutions to help lower their overall carbon footprint. The technology removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and can help balance the output of emissions that can’t be reduced or are tough to abate.
The new water-positive DAC approach allows Avnos to leverage a first-of-a-kind moisture-swing CO2 adsorbent material, the company said. Compared to other DAC approaches, the technology eliminates the need for heat input and reduces energy consumption by more than 50%. The innovations in the area will reduce operating costs, improve resource efficiency, and expand the hybrid DAC solution in more geographies with a new and additional revenue stream.
“The ability to scale carbon management projects while advancing the underlying technologies could be critical to achieving the state’s ambitious goal of sequestering 100 million metric tons of CO2 by 2045,” Neil Navin, chief clean fuels officer at SoCalGas, said in a statement. “Carbon management, if developed at scale, could help reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and represents a tremendous opportunity for economic development and the creation of high-quality jobs.”
The pilot comes after Avnos became part of an $80M million strategic partnership with ConocoPhillips, JetBlue Technology Ventures, which is the corporate venture capital division of JetBlue, and Shell Ventures to accelerate the commercialization of its HDAC platform.