• Californian start-up Equatic makes deal with Boeing to sell ‘carbon-negative’ hydrogen using innovative seawater process

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    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

A spin off from the University of California Los Angeles’ Samueli School of Engineering’s Institute for Carbon Management, Equatic, has entered a pre-purchase option agreement with aerospace company Boeing for the supply of carbon negative hydrogen.

Equatic’s technology and process is an innovative one, with seawater being electrolysed (creating hydrogen and oxygen), then atmospheric air being passed through the processed water to directly capture CO2 in a solid mineral form as well as a dissolved form with other minerals. Finally, the processed seawater is exposed to rock to neutralise it, to “ensure that the ocean’s chemistry is preserved”. Overall, this means carbon negative production of hydrogen (and may call for yet another colour of hydrogen – perhaps ‘sea-foam’?), and utilising seawater allows for transport and storage of captured carbon in one process, reducing costs significantly compared to a ‘conventional’ geologic carbon storage system.  

According to the press release, in the venture with Boeing, Equatic will remove 62,000 (metric) tonnes of carbon dioxide and will deliver 2,100 tonnes of carbon-negative hydrogen – although it is unclear if this is on an annual basis or in total.

Lorenzo Corsini, Principal Advisor at Equatic, says of the company’s technology that it “combines basic principles of chemistry with the natural capabilities of the world’s best carbon removal tool, the ocean, to create the most promising solution for scalable decarbonization — cost-effectively and at a globally-relevant scale.” Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP and Chairman of Equatic’s Advisory Board, said that “that the costs are low enough to allow unprecedented scaling and adoption globally.”

The technology sounds highly promising; especially if the rock treatment to neutralise the seawater avoids acidification of the ocean.