Avnos, a carbon capture startup based in Los Angeles, has secured strategic investment deals worth over $80 million with oil companies Shell and ConocoPhillips, as well as JetBlue, to accelerate the commercialization of its innovative Hybrid Direct Air Capture (HDAC) technology. Founded in 2020, Avnos is focused on developing and deploying scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions in the Direct Air Capture (DAC) market. The company has received multi-million-dollar projects from the U.S. Department of Energy to showcase its HDAC solution and has also been awarded grants from the U.S. Office of Naval Research for carbon capture and e-fuel production pilot programs.
Avnos’ HDAC Technology: A Unique Approach
Avnos’ Hybrid DAC Technology sets itself apart from other carbon capture startups by capturing carbon and producing water wherever there is air. The company’s novel HDAC technology utilizes a moisture-responsive carbon adsorbent that directly absorbs CO2 from the air and produces water as a byproduct. This innovative approach not only addresses global warming but also tackles water scarcity. Unlike other DAC systems that rely on heat, Avnos’ HDAC technology uses a moisture swing adsorbent, significantly reducing energy consumption. Furthermore, while existing DAC approaches consume large amounts of water, Avnos’ HDAC technology produces water as a byproduct, which is then utilized in its carbon capture operations.
Advantages of Avnos HDAC Technology
According to Avnos, its HDAC technology outperforms other DAC systems in four key areas: total energy use, thermal energy use, water consumption/production, and costs. The company’s video demonstrates how its hybrid direct air capture technology works. Another California-based startup, Capture6, has also made strides in carbon capture technology and recently received a grant of over $8 million from the California Energy Commission. Capture6’s technology also produces freshwater while utilizing brine, a byproduct of water treatment facilities, to produce a solvent that captures CO2.
Avnos’ HDAC System and Revenue Streams
Avnos’ HDAC system consists of modules approximately the size of a 20-foot shipping container. The system pulls in air, filters it, and collects condensed water, which is then pumped out and stored. The captured carbon is stored in a tank. Avnos claims that for every ton of captured CO2, there is a 5-to-1 ratio of water produced. This water could potentially create additional revenue streams for Avnos, while the backing from major oil companies allows for the conversion of the captured CO2 into e-fuels.
Strategic Partnerships and Future Plans
The $80+ million investment in Avnos represents a significant commitment to engineered solutions for mitigating climate change. ConocoPhillips sees Avnos’ carbon capture technology as a promising solution that “reduces carbon emissions crucial to enable an orderly energy transition.” Shell Ventures is interested in the potential of Avnos’ technology to reduce energy demand in capturing CO2, while JetBlue believes that the HDAC system plays a vital role in e-fuel production. CEO of Avnos, Will Kain, expressed enthusiasm about the strategic partnerships, stating that they provide access to more resources, expertise, and global reach, ultimately accelerating the deployment of their technology and enabling more efficient carbon removal at lower costs.
Carbon Credits and Future Expansion
Avnos generates carbon credits for the amount of carbon it removes, which can be used to offset its own emissions or sold to other companies seeking carbon offsets. The company plans to open a pilot version of its HDAC facility in Bakersfield, California, later this year. This facility will be capable of removing 30 tons of CO2 annually and producing 150 tons of water. Avnos aims to supply commercial-ready HDAC systems by the end of 2025, with the capacity to remove 100x more carbon and produce 1,500 tons of water. Expansion beyond this capacity would require larger renewable power installations. The funding secured through the strategic investments will be instrumental in achieving these goals.