Amazon Takes Major Stride In Climate Action With Investments In DAC Tech

Amazon, a global tech giant, is making its inaugural foray into Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, a critical tool in the fight against climate change.

Amazon Takes Major Stride In Climate Action With Investments In DAC Tech

In a groundbreaking move towards combating climate change, Amazon, a global tech giant, is making its inaugural foray into Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, a critical tool in the fight against climate change. This strategic investment aligns with Amazon’s ambitious Climate Pledge commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Understanding Direct Air Capture:

DAC represents an emerging suite of technologies designed to chemically extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This captured CO2 can then be either sequestered deep underground or repurposed for applications including building materials like concrete, bricks, and cement, as well as low-carbon fuels.

Supporting Emerging Technologies:

Amazon is championing the world’s largest deployment of DAC technology through a substantial commitment to purchase 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal over a decade from STRATOS, 1PointFive’s premier DAC plant.

This quantity mirrors the natural carbon storage across more than 290,000 acres of U.S. forests, equivalent to roughly half the size of Rhode Island. The captured carbon will be securely stored underground in saline aquifers, vast geological rock formations saturated in salt water.

Furthermore, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund is injecting capital into CarbonCapture Inc., a distinguished climate technology company recognized for its revolutionary modular DAC systems.

These systems are engineered for seamless upgrades with next-generation sorbents, the core materials responsible for filtering CO2 from the atmosphere. This adaptability is anticipated to drive cost reductions due to rapid advancements in material science.

Addressing the Urgency of Climate Change:

As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world must extract approximately 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over this century to uphold the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit outlined by the Paris Agreement.

Achieving this milestone demands organizations evolve their operations, implementing technologies to diminish or eliminate emissions while also capturing previously emitted CO2. While natural systems’ restoration can make a substantial contribution, technological solutions like DAC are imperative for the large-scale removal of CO2 from the air.

Integration with Amazon’s Broader Sustainability Strategy:

These DAC investments represent a pivotal facet of Amazon’s extensive sustainability strategy, which encompasses the development of nature-based solutions, including forest conservation and restoration. Kara Hurst, Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon, emphasized the company’s primary focus on decarbonizing global operations through transitions to renewable energy, sustainable materials, and the electrification of its delivery fleet.

1PointFive’s DAC Plant:

1PointFive is currently in the process of constructing its inaugural DAC plant in Ector County, Texas. Upon full operation, it is anticipated to be the world’s largest, with the capacity to capture up to 500,000 tons of CO2 annually. Digital infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be employed for real-time performance analysis and operational optimization.

Commitment to Climate Action:

Amazon’s industry-leading purchase agreement with 1PointFive and long-term contract signify a substantial dedication to direct air capture as a pivotal carbon removal solution. This commitment will significantly contribute to Amazon’s trajectory towards achieving net-zero emissions.

Advancing Commercial Deployment of DAC:

CarbonCapture, a climate technology startup, is fervently focused on expediting innovation and scale in the DAC sector. Their patented modular open system architecture allows for seamless integration of new sorbents as they become available, a crucial strategy for driving down the cost of DAC over time.

In addition to the investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, CarbonCapture will make up to 100,000 tons of carbon removal credits accessible to the company. Amazon intends to extend these credits to businesses within the company, its suppliers, selling partners, and customers.

Adrian Corless, CEO, and Chief Technology Officer of CarbonCapture expressed immense enthusiasm for being backed by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, foreseeing a transformative impact in democratizing access and reducing long-term costs in carbon removal credit production.