Carbon captured under this agreement will be stored deep underground in saline aquifers, which are large geological rock formations that are saturated in salt water.
In addition, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund is investing in CarbonCapture Inc., a climate technology company recognized for its modular DAC systems. These systems are designed to be easily upgraded over time with next-generation sorbents that filter carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world needs to remove roughly 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the course of this century to keep global warming below the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit set by the Paris Agreement.
Achieving this goal will require organizations to both evolve their operations, deploying technologies to reduce or eliminate emissions and to capture CO2 that has already been emitted. While restoring natural systems can contribute significantly to this undertaking, technological solutions like DAC will also be required to capture and remove large volumes of CO2 from the air.
With these new investments, DAC will become one component of Amazon’s broader sustainability strategy, which also includes developing nature-based solutions such as forest conservation and restoration.
“Amazon's primary focus is to decarbonize our global operations through our transition to renewable energy, building with more sustainable materials and electrifying our delivery fleet, and global logistics,” said Kara Hurst, vice president of worldwide sustainability at Amazon.
“We are also pursuing changes such as reducing the weight of packaging per shipment for our customers. At the same time, we also need to seek every possible avenue to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. These investments in direct air capture complement our emissions reductions plans, and we are excited to support the growth and deployment of this technology.”
Making one of the largest purchase agreements for DAC
1PointFive is currently constructing its first DAC plant in Ector County, Texas. When fully operational, the plant is expected to be the largest in the world and designed to capture up to 500,000 tons of CO2 annually. It will also leverage digital infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to analyze real-time performance data and optimize operations, and enable 1PointFive to apply these learnings in its future DAC plants. This purchase agreement with Amazon is one of the largest ever for a DAC facility.
"Amazon’s purchase and long-term contract represent a significant commitment to direct air capture as a vital carbon removal solution,” said Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive.
Accelerating the commercial deployment of DAC
Climate technology startup CarbonCapture is focused on accelerating innovation and scale in the DAC industry. The company’s patented modular open system architecture allows new sorbents—the core materials responsible for filtering CO2 from the atmosphere—to be swapped in as they become available.
Maximizing sorbent performance is a key strategy for driving down the cost of DAC over time. In addition to an investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, CarbonCapture will be making up to 100,000 tons of carbon removal credits available to the company, which Amazon plans to make available to businesses within the company and among its suppliers, selling partners, and customers.
“We’re extremely excited to be backed by a first-class venture investor like Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund,” said Adrian Corless, CarbonCapture’s CEO and chief technology officer. “Further, we’re looking forward to leveraging our relationship with Amazon to both democratize access and reduce the long-run cost of producing carbon removal credits.”