American Airlines is collaborating with an underground firm that stores bricks of plant material in an effort to reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere.
With delivery planned for early 2025, the airline and Graphyte signed a deal on Tuesday for the purchase of credits equal to 10,000 tonnes of permanent carbon reduction.
Graphyte’s first commercial client is American.
Byproducts from the agricultural and forest sectors, such as wood bark, rice hulls, and plant stalks that have captured carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, are converted into graphyte using a process known as carbon casting.
After the plant material is dried to stop it from decomposing, it is made into carbon-dense bricks and sealed with a polymer barrier. As per the business, these bricks are kept in subterranean chambers and are tracked using sensors to ensure that the carbon content remains contained.
By 2050, the United States wants to have no net emissions; however, there are currently few practical ways for the aviation sector to lessen its carbon impact. The United States has made investments in hydrogen as an alternative fuel, but it will take some time before it is economically feasible.
In a statement released on Tuesday, American’s chief sustainability officer Jill Blickstein stated, “Hard to abate industries like aviation will need high-quality, permanent, affordable and scalable carbon credits – including removals – to achieve our emissions reduction goals.”
Usually burned or allowed to decompose, plant waste from the logging and agriculture sectors releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Graphyte estimates that this biomass material has the capacity to remove 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
According to Graphyte, carbon casting is a low-cost, scalable alternative for costly, high-tech techniques for removing and capturing carbon dioxide. Bill Gates launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investment organisation that provides cash for renewable energy technologies, to support the company.
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