London Luton Airport (LLA) has partnered with Cranfield University to explore emerging carbon capture, storage and sequestration (CCUS) technologies for the aviation sector.

For this study, researchers focused on CCUS solutions’ prospects such as direct air capture (DAC), which captures CO₂ in the air that is then sequestrated or used to produce carbon neutral fuel.

DAC is expected to play a key role in helping the aviation industry meet its net-zero goals and fulfil its aim of green airports.

For this report, researchers examined six CCUS engineering-based solutions, where each solution had the potential to combine with nature-based solutions such as tree planting and wetland restoration for mitigating CO₂ emissions.

The report primarily focused on 2019 emissions from LLA, Aberdeen Airport (ABZ), Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Researchers concluded that the integration of renewable green hydrogen technology with DAC and sustainable aviation fuel could help the UK attain its Net Zero ambitions.

Dubbed ‘The viability of Carbon Capture at Airports using Innovative Approaches’, the report has been collated for aviation IT specialist SITA.

The report also suggested that CCUS should be used together with other air transport energy policies as part of the Net Zero 2050 roadmap.

London Luton Airport Sustainability head David Vazquez said: “This collaboration provides timely, valuable insight into carbon capture and storage technologies and innovations, some of which we will explore further as we develop our evolving Net Zero roadmap.

“Although we recognise there will be some emissions that we cannot reduce in the short-term, London Luton Airport is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in 2023 and Net Zero for airport operations by 2040.

“This study is an example of how LLA is working with the wider industry to look at the potential of emerging CCUS technologies.”