Deep Sky, a Montreal-based gigaton-scale carbon removal project developer, and Airhive, a UK-based DAC (Direct Air Capture) startup, have partnered to deploy carbon removal technology in Canada. Airhive will deliver and install a modular DAC unit to be operated at Deep Sky’s pilot facility in Quebec in 2024. The unit will have the capacity to remove 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, making it one of the largest installed end-to-end DAC systems in the world.
Airhive’s technology uses a unique fluidization process. Fluidization is the process of using a gas or liquid – like air – to make static solid particles behave as “fluid.” Airhive uses naturally carbon-absorbing rock minerals and increases their capacity to uptake CO2 by reforming them into small particles with very high surface areas. The particles then get “fluidized,” creating a turbulent sandstorm-like cloud in which the particles rapidly collide with the CO2 molecules in the air. This is a naturally occurring earth process that normally takes thousands of years, but Airhive makes it happen in minutes. In fact, the process removes close to 100% of the CO2 in air passed through its system in less than 0.1 second.
Once in operation, the partners will monitor the performance of the DAC unit at Deep Sky’s Alpha facility. The joint team will collect data on the performance of the unit in terms of carbon dioxide removal (CDR), energy consumption, and more. The partnership aims to validate the technology for commercial deployment in Canada as part of Deep Sky’s mission to develop Canada into a world-leading hub for carbon removal. This follows successful demonstrations of Airhive’s technology in its London lab and via the ongoing development of an 80 tonne pilot in Teesside, in northern England.
“It’s only fitting that our fourth DAC unit to be deployed at our pilot facility is a unique fluidization technology from Airhive,” said Damien Steel, Deep Sky CEO. “Together, we will collect learnings to share with the world, as we prepare to remove gigatons of CO2 from the air for our premiere carbon credit customers. We’re advancing the carbon removal industry, one DAC unit at a time.”
“We have been incredibly impressed by Deep Sky’s vision, speed and capability, and we’re delighted to be working with them to deliver on their vision,” said Rory Brown, Airhive CEO. “At 1,000 tonnes annual capacity, our system will be one of the largest installed end-to-end DAC systems in the world, and a demonstration of our commitment to scaling low-cost, energy efficient DAC as rapidly as our climate needs and deserves.”
Together, Deep Sky and Airhive are committed to developing and deploying cutting-edge carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. High quality CDR is essential for achieving net zero emissions goals and mitigating the impacts of climate change.