Japanese airline ANA is partnering with 1PointFive to invest in carbon capture technology as part of its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 1PointFive is constructing a Direct Air Capture (DAC) plant in Texas, which is set to be operational by mid-2025. Under the agreement, ANA will purchase 10,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits per year for three years starting in 2025.
Carbon capture technology involves capturing CO2 emissions at the source, compressing them, and storing them in deep underground locations. DAC, on the other hand, captures CO2 directly from the air through a chemical process. The captured CO2 can be stored or used in other processes, such as producing sustainable aviation fuels. Michael Schneider, Assistant Director of Environmental Programs at IATA, describes DAC as the “gold standard” of carbon capture, as it removes CO2 directly from the air.
The capacity for carbon capture is rapidly increasing, with the Global CCS Institute reporting a 44% year-on-year increase in capacity. There are currently 30 projects in operation, 11 under construction, and 153 in development. However, demand for carbon capture needs to grow in order to stimulate further supply.
Carbon capture offers airlines a way to offset their CO2 emissions, with carbon capture credits functioning similarly to offset credits. Carbon capture is more expensive than standard offsets, but offers permanence, as the CO2 is removed and would not otherwise be reduced. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes carbon capture as a critical tool in limiting the effects of climate change.
According to Schneider, carbon capture, especially DAC, will be a key tool for the aviation industry in achieving its net-zero targets. It is scalable, minimally disruptive, and offers permanent carbon removal. Carbon capture will be discussed at the upcoming World Sustainability Symposium.