Monday, February 26, 2024

UK’s first direct air capture plant turns on to enable jet fuel made from air

Mission Zero Technologies (MZT) has turned on the UK’s first direct air capture plant, which uses renewable energy and water to capture CO2 from the atmosphere.

One of two commercially financed DAC systems in the world, the plant was purchased by the Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC) of the University of Sheffield for a first-of-a-kind UK project validating the end-to-end production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from atmospheric carbon. The goal is to certify this fuel so that it can be rapidly scaled to decarbonize UK aviation.

MZT’s energy-efficient electrochemical DAC technology recovers CO2 from the atmosphere using electricity and water. The remotely-operated electrochemical plant will recover 50 tonnes of high-purity CO2 from the atmosphere using water and solar electricity generated on TERC’s site.

The new plant in the UK is a major development for the country’s DAC and SAF industries. The plant is expected to help the UK become a leader in fighting climate change and achieving Net Zero. This is especially important because DAC is considered to be the only technology that can provide a sustainable carbon feedstock to meet the UK government’s goal of 10% SAF jet fuel by 2030.

The University of Sheffield will use our DAC technology to produce and test jet fuel made from air at their state-of-the art research and development facilities.
The University of Sheffield will use our DAC technology to produce and test jet fuel made from air at their state-of-the-art research and development facilities. Credit: Mission Zero Technologies

The success of this first-of-a-kind DAC-to-jet fuel project will provide project financiers and developers with the analysis required to scale a UK SAF ecosystem. By proving DAC’s readiness for industrial scale, it will also pave the way for more fossil-dependent industries to rapidly decarbonize.

MZT’s DAC technology sounds very promising as it provides a plug-and-play source of sustainable carbon on demand. This can be used for both sustainable purposes and permanent removal. Designed for rapid scaling, the technology utilizes mature off-the-shelf components in a modular design that can be easily integrated with load-variable renewable grids.

Additionally, MZT’s direct air capture technology sits inside a 20-foot shipping container, making it easy to move around so that it can be deployed around the world. This small footprint also allows it to be easily incorporated into a customer’s site – and moved later, if needed.

“We’re thrilled to be delivering our first ever DAC plant on home soil with the University of Sheffield,” said MZT’s CEO, Dr Nicholas Chadwick. “DAC is a multi-use technology able to drive deep industrial decarbonization and permanent carbon removal. Through pioneering partnership, we’re already realising that potential.”

“This installation is hugely exciting for us, and for the world, as we discover more about the potential for decarbonized industrial processes and air transport using novel DAC technology,” Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Managing Director of TERC, said in the press release. “TERC’s capabilities in processing captured carbon in order to transform it has made it an ideal location for the first DAC plant. We’re excited to work closely with MZT on this project and other world-leading activities.”