Air Canada is among the world’s leading carriers leveraging direct airborne carbon capture and storage to help reduce the industry’s enormous carbon footprint. Although the technology is still in its infancy, it could play a vital role given the challenge of replacing big jets burning fossil fuels.
Kevin Krausert is CEO and co-founder of Avatar Innovations, a Calgary-based venture capital firm and startup accelerator that matches entrepreneurs with Canada’s top energy companies.
“If you could reduce the cost of direct air capture to a point where it was more competitive than some of these sustainable aviation fuels or hydrogen solutions, then you would have a panacea,” he said. declared. Yahoo Finance Canada Editor’s Edition. “You would need a big breakthrough in technology to align costs.”
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Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.
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JEFF LAGERQUIST: Obviously, we are not talking about capturing carbon from the air as the plane passes. I assume that would be installations at airports and other places like that. Do you think this could work?
KEVIN KRAUSTER: Well, I think what they’re looking at specifically is direct air capture. This therefore removes CO2 from the atmosphere. And there are technologies that can do that. There are two major global companies, one of which is Canadian Carbon Engineering, that can do this on a large scale.
And Elon Musk has just invested $100 million to encourage direct air capture processes with his XPRIZE. Right now it’s much more expensive. You essentially fight thermodynamics with direct air capture.
We will burn the CO2, put it in the atmosphere and take it out later. Basic thermodynamics suggest it’s a tough road. But if you could reduce the cost of direct air capture to a point where it was more competitive than some of those sustainable aviation fuels or hydrogen-based solutions, then you would have a panacea instead of sit tight in a hydrogen plane for the first time. You can just run it and extract the CO2. But although the numbers I’ve seen on direct aerial capture, they vary widely. And so it would take a big breakthrough in technology to bring the cost in line. But if you could, yes, it would be a bit of a panacea for the status quo of the airline industry.