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Amazon Takes Flight into Carbon Capture: A First-Ever Investment in Direct Air Capture Technology

Amazon is diving headfirst into the world of carbon capture with its inaugural investment in Direct Air Capture technology, pledging to remove 250,000 metric tons of carbon over the next decade


In an exciting update from Amazon, the company disclosed its maiden venture into direct air capture (DAC) technology. The corporate giant is not only pouring investment into CarbonCapture Inc. but is also purchasing carbon removal credits from 1PointFive, aiming to propel the growth and establishment of DAC systems. This commitment aligns seamlessly with Amazon’s ambitious Climate Pledge to neutralize carbon emissions completely by 2040.

Amazon’s unprecedented commitment entails purchasing 250,000 metric tonnes of carbon removal from STRATOS, 1PointFive’s pioneering DAC plant. This commitment, spanning a decade, elevates Amazon as the globe’s premier supporter of DAC technology.

Kara Hurst, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide sustainability, elucidated the company’s overarching strategy. “While our principal drive is to lower carbon footprints across our global activities—from our shift to green energy to constructing with eco-friendly materials and going electric with our delivery and logistic fleets—we recognize that this isn’t enough,” she shared. Hurst also highlighted the firm’s proactive efforts in lightweighting the packaging for customer shipments. “Tackling atmospheric carbon needs a multifaceted approach. That’s where investments in DAC come in. They’re an ideal complement to our mitigation plans, and we’re enthused about boosting this tech’s growth,” Hurst added.

So, what’s causing all the buzz around DAC? This innovative tech offers a direct method to trap CO2 emissions right from the atmosphere, making it a promising contender in the battle against global warming. Particularly, DAC could prove pivotal for sectors where emission reductions are challenging, such as aviation. More intriguingly, it holds the promise of offsetting previously released emissions.

Wondering how DAC operates? Imagine giant fans or air collectors, pulling in vast amounts of atmospheric air. This captured air is then channeled through a specific chemical solution or sorbent, which adheres to the CO2 molecules, isolating them from the rest of the air. The specifics of this chemical interplay might vary based on the DAC system in use.

Post-capture, the CO2 is meticulously extracted from the solution. Now, there are two primary avenues for this extracted CO2: carbon storage and utilization. While the former entails stashing away the carbon in geological pockets like spent oil reservoirs or deep saline aquifers, the latter involves repurposing the CO2 for industrial processes or transforming it into valuable commodities—think construction materials or synthetic fuels.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to highlight that DAC, as of now, demands considerable financial and energy resources, making its widespread deployment a challenge. Therefore, a crucial aspect of R&D in this domain is trimming down both its cost and energy consumption. A challenge Amazon and CarbonCapture are enthusiastic to tackle collaboratively.

Adrian Corless, the CEO and tech-head at CarbonCapture, expressed his optimism about the collaboration. “Our partnership with Amazon is monumental. It’s a golden chance to democratize access to DAC while simultaneously driving down the cost of producing carbon removal credits.” CarbonCapture is also set to furnish Amazon with an additional 100,000 tonnes of carbon removal credits, backed by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund.

In the unfolding narrative of climate change, DAC’s significance in carbon removal tactics is poised to surge. With this move, Amazon seems ready to spearhead the charge.


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