The aeronautics giant Airbus and seven airlines recently signed a completely new agreement. Together, these companies plan to purchase a credit of 400,000 tons of CO2 which will be buried underground in specific facilities.
An agreement for a huge CO2 storage credit
A few months ago, we mentioned the possibility that CO2 capture and storage could become a huge global market in the near future. No less than 84 new private projects will thus be implemented in the four corners of the world by 2025, in addition to the 56 projects already underway. As the Carbon Herald explained in a March 2022 article, a group of several players in the aviation industry are planning to buy a huge CO2 storage credit.
The manufacturer Airbus as well as the airlines EasyJet, Air France, Air Canada, IAG, Latam, Lufthansa and Virgin Galactic have indeed signed a letter of intent to buy 400,000 tonnes of CO2 credits. This carbon dioxide will be captured from the air and stored underground in the United States. Remember in passing that one ton of CO2 corresponds to a distance of approximately 14,000 kilometers by car or nineteen Paris-Bordeaux round trips by train.
The partners entrusted this mission to 1pointFive, a start-up expert in CO2 storage. It provides for the establishment of a first storage site in Texas for 2024 where it will be possible to bury a megaton of CO2.
An emerging technology with great potential
The start-up 1pointFive will use the technique of direct capture before carbon storage in the air or Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS). This technique consists of capturing CO2 in the air using very powerful fans, whose electricity supply comes from solar panels. Then, this same CO2 is stored at a depth of around 2,000 meters. Jane Ashton, head of sustainability at EasyJet, says this nascent technology has huge potential for the future.
While air traffic is often perceived as ultra-polluting and not essential, the signatories of this agreement are still among the most influential companies in the world in the sector. However, several ecological associations question the DACCS technique and this unprecedented partnership. According to them, it could be that the system is counter-productive insofar as the latter itself needs a phenomenal amount of energy to function.