As the aviation industry looks to cut its carbon footprint, Boeing just signed a deal to help it find sustainable jet fuel, and it’s tied to an unlikely source: the ocean.
The aerospace giant has signed a deal with a Los Angeles-based startup to buy hydrogen that will be produced by facilities designed to clean seawater from carbon dioxide so the oceans can can absorb many greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
By absorbing 30% carbon dioxide emissions Since the Industrial Revolution, the ocean has acted as a huge carbon sink and an important buffer in protecting people from the even worse effects of early climate change.
Equitic said Boeing has agreed to pre-purchase hydrogen, which will be produced when it uses a carbon removal system — developed by the University of California Los Angeles engineering department — at facilities in the Port of Los Angeles and Singapore. It is expected to be operational by 2025. The researchers tested the system at demonstration sites at both sites.
Green hydrogen could then be used as an ingredient in sustainable aviation fuels. Aviation currently accounts for about 2.5% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
Equatic CEO Edward Sanders acknowledged that Boeing’s support was a huge motivator for a nascent initiative.
“With the agreement with Boeing, they realized that hydrogen would be useful to them,” he said. “And we’ve had some very encouraging conversations with other industries who also need hydrogen, who plan to do that through carbon-neutral green hydrogen generation.”
To help keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world’s largest airline association, the International Air Transport Association, has set a target for the air transport industry to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. President Joe Biden’s mandate wants to replace all jet fuel made from sustainable fuel kerosene by 2050.
While other forms of transport are increasingly electrified, building large, battery-powered planes is a costly and complex challenge. aviation industry instead, they are exploring replacing fossil fuels with sustainable fuels that would not require major engineering modifications to the aircraft. The world’s first synthetic kerosene plant opens in Germany in 2021.
Equatic said it would remove 62,000 tons of carbon dioxide for Boeing and provide the aerospace company with 2,100 tons of hydrogen under a five-year agreement. The companies declined to provide details on how much revenue will be generated or other details of the agreement.
Sheila Remes, Vice President of Boeing sustainable environment“Achieving the aviation industry’s sustainability goals will require a multi-faceted approach, and Boeing sees significant opportunity in Equitic’s technology,” said in a statement.
Equivalent’s process sends a charge through seawater, then triggering a series of chemical reactions that trap greenhouse gas into a solid mineral, at the same time generating hydrogen. Seawater is then returned to the ocean and can draw more carbon dioxide out of the air, while solid minerals, containing calcium carbonate, can then settle to the seafloor.
Revenue from the sale of hydrogen, as well as carbon credits that companies can claim to balance their pollution, will be applied to Equatic’s facility opening plans.
According to the UCLA team that developed the technology, at least 1,800 industrial-scale facilities are needed to capture 10 billion tons of the atmosphere. carbon dioxide per year, but less can still make a dent.
The company says the aim is to remove carbon at a cost of less than $100 a ton. It added that hydrogen would be produced at less than $1 per kilogram, which would be significantly lower than current clean production costs. hydrogen.
Equitic says it aims to remove 100,000 tons of carbon a year by 2026 and millions of tons a year by 2028.
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