Air Canada has partnered with clean energy firm Carbon Engineering (CE) to explore the potential of the latter’s Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology in decarbonising the aviation industry.

They have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.

Both these firms aim to identify potential collaboration activities in sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), permanent CO₂ removal and innovation.

Air Canada will also look out for opportunities to buy SAF using CE’s solutions.

The DAC technology, which collects carbon directly out of the atmosphere, can be utilised to facilitate decarbonisation in two approaches.

It can eliminate huge amounts of carbon permanently from the atmosphere when used with geologic storage, offering an instrument to remove any carbon emission at any time and from any place.

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DAC, through incorporation with CE’s AIR TO FUELS technology, can be utilised for generating ‘ultra-low’ carbon transportation fuels, unifying atmospheric carbon and clean hydrogen.

CE CEO Steve Oldham said: “Addressing emissions within the aviation industry is expected to be some of the most challenging, yet important, work in the years to come.

“The good news is that feasible, affordable and scalable solutions, like CE’s DAC and AIR TO FUELSTM technologies, are available and capable of making a meaningful impact in meeting critical net-zero targets.”

Air Canada executive vice-president and chief financial officer Amos Kazzaz said: “Our relationship with CE spanning three years has enabled us to learn about their emerging technology advances, SAF production and ecosystem building efforts.

“We are pleased to officially become the first Canadian airline to work with CE to advance new, transformational technologies towards the commercial viability of SAFs and carbon removal, two significant components to building a long-term, sustainable, global aviation industry.”

Air Canada is currently investing in several alternative fuel and carbon reduction technologies under its goals to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout its worldwide operations by 2050.

In May, Edmonton International Airport (YEG) entered a new partnership agreement with Air Canada to minimise carbon emissions.