Cleantech startup Equatic announced an agreement with aerospace giant Boeing for the pre-purchase of more than 60,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal using Equatic’s ocean-based direct air capture technology, as well as for the purchase of over 2,000 metric tons of carbon-negative hydrogen.
Recently spun out of the Institute for Carbon Management at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, Equatic has developed a process for carbon dioxide removal that amplifies the natural process through which oceans draw down and permanently sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, while producing carbon-negative hydrogen to generate clean energy from the process.
Equatic’s process uses electrolysis, in which an electrical current is passed though seawater, and then passes atmospheric air though the processed seawater, which traps CO2 in the form of dissolved bicarbonate ions and solid minerals naturally found in oceans, and which can remain stable for more than 100,000 years.
The process co-produces hydrogen gas, which can be used to power the process, or sold as a carbon-negative fuel source for applications such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) or trucking.
According to Equatic, by both capturing CO2 and producing carbon-negative hydrogen, the process addresses both legacy and future emissions.
Equatic said that it anticipates reaching 100,000 metric tons of carbon removal per year by 2026, scaling to million of tons by 2028 at a cost of less than $100 per metric ton.
Lorenzo Corsini, Principal Advisor at Equatic, said:
“The world has two unprecedented challenges: how to remove and permanently store gigatons of carbon dioxide and how to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Equatic’s first-of-its-kind technology solves both. It combines basic principles of chemistry with the natural capabilities of the world’s best carbon removal tool, the ocean, to create the most promising solution for scalable decarbonization — cost-effectively and at a globally-relevant scale.”
Under the new pre-purchase agreement, Equatic will remove 62,000 metric tons of CO2 and deliver 2,100 metric tons of hydrogen to Boeing.
According to the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change mitigation study released last year, scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C include carbon dioxide removal methods scaling to billions of tons of removal annually over the coming decades. The report also noted, however, that while there are multiple existing solutions to capture and store CO2, most are early stage and currently limited in scale.
Pre-purchase agreements can help address the risks of the development of carbon removal technologies, with guarantees of future demand.
The announcement marks the latest in a series of future carbon removal agreements, including deals announced by companies including Microsoft and JPMorgan, as well as by carbon removal buyer coalition Frontier.
Sheila Remes, Boeing’s Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, said:
“The aviation industry has an important role to play in global decarbonization efforts. Reaching aviation’s sustainability goals will require a multi-faceted approach and Boeing sees immense value in Equatic’s technology. SAF is enormously important to reaching the commercial aviation industry’s net zero by 2050 goal, and we are excited to partner with Equatic on both green hydrogen feedstock and carbon dioxide removal.”