In a groundbreaking partnership, Boeing has teamed up with Los Angeles-based startup Equatic to embark on a first-of-its-kind venture aimed at carbon removal and green hydrogen production from the ocean.
The deal involves Boeing purchasing carbon and green hydrogen credits worth a minimum of $50 million. Equatic will eliminate a staggering 62.2 tons of carbon dioxide for the aerospace giant, while also providing around 100,000 tons of green hydrogen, a valuable byproduct of its innovative technology.
The agreement with Equatic surpasses the recent deal struck between competitor Climeworks and JP Morgan Chase, which entails removing 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide and does not include hydrogen fuel. Although the specific value of the deal remains undisclosed, Climeworks estimates its agreement to be valued at over $20 million. Furthermore, JP Morgan Chase is currently engaged in negotiations with startup Charm Industrial to explore carbon capture through the storage of bio-oil produced from agricultural waste.
The partnership between Boeing and Equatic is the result of plans related to Equatic’s development of large-scale CO2 removal plants. Lorenzo Corsini, the startup’s chief consultant, refrained from divulging the intricate details but emphasized the significance of this collaboration. Corsini remarked, “This catalyzes the development of technology and is a leap of faith on Boeing’s part. Boeing is serious about removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and knows it needs to invest upfront to do so.”
Equatic’s technology focuses on extracting CO2 from seawater using electrolysis and converting it into a shell-like material that poses no harm to marine environments. Unlike other competitors in the field, such as Climeworks, Charm, and CarbFix, which primarily absorb CO2 from the air, Equatic leverages the oceans as the largest reservoir of CO2 on Earth. This unique approach not only amplifies natural processes but is also considered the most cost-effective and energy-efficient method for gigaton-level CO2 removal and hydrogen production from non-polluting sources.
Equatic recently emerged as a spin-off from UCLA’s Institute for Carbon Management and is part of a consortium of companies striving to combat climate change by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. The startup commenced pilot projects in Los Angeles and Singapore in April, showcasing the effectiveness of its technology. A larger “sub-commercial” plant is slated to open in Singapore next year, integrated into an existing desalination plant, with a projected capacity to remove 3,500 metric tons of CO2 annually.
Equatic aims to establish its first commercial plant within the next three years, capable of removing 100,200 metric tons of CO2 and generating 500,360 tons of hydrogen per year. This plant’s capacity is nearly triple that of Climeworks’ Mammoth plant currently under construction in Iceland. To fund research and construction costs for the commercial plant, Equatic is in the process of raising $100 million. Prominent backers, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, have already contributed $30 million.
Boeing’s purchase agreement with Equatic marks the fifth-largest CO2 elimination deal to date. Stripe, a financial services company, previously procured CO2 offset credits from Equatic’s pilot plants. Boeing will receive credits from Equatic’s forthcoming Singapore plant, scheduled to commence operations in early 2025, as well as from the startup’s undisclosed location for its initial commercial plant.
Corsini affirms that Boeing is just one of Equatic’s partners, indicating that more announcements can be expected as the company continues to design and construct its carbon removal plants. This collaborative effort between Boeing and Equatic demonstrates a steadfast commitment to combating climate change and marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of sustainable aviation and environmental stewardship.