Supersonic aircraft company, Aerion, the leader in supersonic technology and global mobility, and Carbon Engineering Ltd. (CE), a leading Direct Air Capture (DAC) company, today announced they are working together to develop solutions for carbon neutral supersonic air travel. The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore ways in which CE’s synthetic fuel – made from carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from the atmosphere, water, and clean electricity – will power Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet, the world’s first carbon neutral supersonic commercial aircraft.
By partnering, the two technology innovators in mobility and sustainable energy believe they can take a significant step forward in achieving their common goal of building the clean energy transportation networks of the future, while helping to address the climate and energy challenge.
“At Aerion we take environmental stewardship very seriously and we believe that speed and being kind to our planet do not need to be mutually exclusive,” said Tom Vice, Aerion’s Chairman, President & CEO. “As we build the next generation of high-speed transportation networks, we recognize the need to create a broad ecosystem of innovative partnerships to achieve our vision of carbon neutral point to point global travel. We seek partners and technology visionaries who share our vision to passionately pursue addressing climate change. Carbon Engineering is leading the industry in clean energy production and we are proud to partner with them.”
Through this agreement, Aerion and CE will jointly assess requirements to power Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet engine – the first non-afterburning engine built to fly at supersonic speeds across land with no boom reaching the ground – entirely on CE’s synthetic fuel. The companies will also explore a potential collaborative project to build an AIR TO FUELSTM plant to produce synthetic fuel specifically for the AS2 program.
“The fundamental value of fuels made from atmospheric CO2 is that they create a circular system of emissions,” said Steve Oldham, CE’s CEO. “Our DAC technology captures yesterday’s emitted CO2 and converts it into fuel. When used in any vehicle, the carbon is returned to the atmosphere as CO2, however, the process then captures it again to make more fuel. So, we continually re-use existing CO2, and little or no new carbon emissions are created. This provides a way to decarbonize sectors of transportation that are difficult to electrify and that require the high energy density of liquid fuels, such as aviation or shipping. We’re excited to pair our AIR TO FUELSTM solution with Aerion’s visionary AS2 aircraft, and to open a pathway to delivering the world’s first sustainable supersonic flight.”
As part of Aerion’s commitment to carbon neutral operations from flight one, the companies will also investigate opportunities for CE to permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere on behalf of Aerion and its customers. CE’s Direct Air Capture technology, when combined with permanent geological storage of CO2, can deliver large-scale quantities of permanent and measurable carbon dioxide removal, which can be used to counteract sources of emissions that are either too difficult or costly to eliminate.
Aerion is founded on a core belief of bringing humanity closer. The company’s vision is a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet within three hours using new transportation networks – powered by clean energy solutions and enabling a world where distance is no longer a barrier. The starting point is sustainable supersonic flight, led by the world’s first supersonic business jet – the AS2.
Founded in 2009, CE is a Canadian-based clean energy company focused on the deployment of Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere so it can be permanently stored deep underground or used to produce clean, affordable transportation fuels. From a pilot plant in Squamish, British Columbia, CE has been removing CO2 from the atmosphere since 2015 and converting it into fuels since 2017. Today, with its partner Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, CE is engineering a commercial scale DAC facility that will capture one million tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to the work of 40 million trees. CE is one of four finalists in the Government of Canada’s Sky’s the Limit Challenge competing to develop and produce Canada’s cleanest, most economical and sustainable jet fuel.