New Approach to Hydrogen Energy and Climate Change: by Boeing and Equatic - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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New Approach to Hydrogen Energy and Climate Change: by Boeing and Equatic

Here’s an article posted in The Verge.

According to the article,

Top management consulting experts for Bio-energy, EV, Solar, Green Hydrogen

  • A new California-based startup, Equatic, is tackling climate change by simultaneously removing carbon dioxide from the ocean and air while creating hydrogen as an alternative fuel
  • Equatic’s Technology: Equatic’s technology brings together two nascent strategies for climate change that are starting to take off in the US4.
  • Boeing’s Agreement: Boeing has agreed to purchase 2,100 metric tons of hydrogen from Equatic and 62,000 metric tons’ worth of carbon removal to offset some of its own climate pollution

Equatic’s innovative process combines carbon dioxide removal from both seawater and air, alongside hydrogen production for use as a sustainable fuel. Here’s a detailed breakdown of their process:

  1. Hydrogen Production: Equatic utilizes electrolysis to produce hydrogen from seawater. Seawater is abundant and serves as a sustainable source of hydrogen. The process involves passing an electric current through seawater, which splits the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gases. This method of hydrogen production is environmentally friendly and does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Electrolysis Efficiency: Electrolysis typically has an efficiency rate of around 70-80%, meaning that about 70-80% of the input electrical energy is converted into hydrogen gas.
    • Pilot Plants: Equatic currently operates two small pilot plants in Los Angeles and Singapore to demonstrate the feasibility of their technology at scale.
  2. Carbon Dioxide Removal:a. From Seawater: As part of the hydrogen production process, Equatic treats seawater with an electric current. This process not only releases hydrogen but also generates streams of basic and acidic water. In the basic stream, dissolved calcium reacts with CO2 in the water to form calcium carbonate. This mineralization process effectively removes carbon dioxide from the seawater.b. From Air: Equatic also captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by bubbling air through the basic stream of water containing dissolved calcium carbonate. The CO2 in the air reacts with the calcium carbonate to form magnesium bicarbonate, thereby removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
    • Carbon Capture Efficiency: Equatic aims to achieve high efficiency in carbon capture to maximize the removal of CO2 from both seawater and air. Specific efficiency metrics for this process would depend on factors such as the concentration of CO2 in the air and seawater, as well as the efficiency of the chemical reactions involved.
  3. Environmental Considerations:
    • Ocean Chemistry: Equatic’s process may potentially affect ocean chemistry due to alterations in mineral concentrations. However, the company asserts that its technology does not significantly alter the acidity of the ocean, and the released water meets necessary environmental standards comparable to other industrial effluents.
    • Impact on Marine Life: Environmental advocates raise concerns about the potential impact on marine life, particularly shell-building creatures sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry. Equatic emphasizes the importance of monitoring and mitigating any adverse effects on marine ecosystems.
  4. Scaling Up and Cost Reduction:
    • Funding and Support: Equatic has received significant funding from various sources, including government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and industry partners like Boeing. This funding enables the company to scale up its operations and further develop its technology.
    • Cost Reduction Targets: Equatic aims to reduce the cost of carbon capture to $100 per ton by 2028, making it more economically viable for large-scale deployment. Achieving this target would involve optimizing the efficiency of their processes and leveraging economies of scale.
    • Capacity Expansion: Equatic plans to build larger plants to meet increasing demand for hydrogen and carbon removal services. These plants will have significantly higher capacity compared to existing facilities, allowing Equatic to capture and process larger volumes of CO2 from both seawater and air.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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