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Cleantech
Air Company:
Fueling the Shift from Emissions to Resources

After launching with consumer products vodka and perfume, the carbon-capture innovator is now banking on turning the world’s most abundant pollutant into sustainable aviation fuel.

Since the start of the industrial era, approximately 2.3 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) have been emitted into the atmosphere. Roughly half of this has been absorbed by the oceans or integrated into the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems, while the remaining portion remains in the atmosphere and is now raising global temperatures. If we stopped emitting CO2 today, it would take thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to pre-industrial levels and temperatures would still rise for 40 more years.

Carbon dioxide has long been vilified as a leading contributor to climate change and environmental degradation. However, Air Company saw it as an opportunity — to transform CO2 from a polluting, climate-changing greenhouse gas into an invaluable and infinite resource.

With its groundbreaking AIRMADE™ technology, Air Company is at the forefront of a growing group of innovators turning CO2 into a versatile asset for various industrial and consumer applications.

“Our goal as a company has been to decarbonize the planet by providing technological solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale,” co-founder and CEO Gregory Constantine — a Harvard Business School grad who, prior to founding Air Company, led cultural marketing for Diageo’s Smirnoff brand — told Sustainable Brands®. “Rapid industrial decarbonization is the solution to addressing climate change and preserving life on Earth, and we’re working diligently to combat the threat of extinction.”

“We need companies like Air Company because we need industrial-scale solutions. We need companies creating new ways of doing things that are viable in an economic and practical sense,” Mark Rumizen — Air Company’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality in Aviation and a recognized leader in the qualification, regulation and advancement of sustainable aviation fuel — told SB. “That’s part of what drew me to Air Company — to be a part of scaling a proven technology to have a world-changing effect.”

The AIRMADE System

AIRMADE captures CO2 from various sources, including industrial emissions. It then uses this captured carbon and transforms it into valuable, sustainable resources. Through a combination of chemical reactions and advanced engineering, the AIRMADE™ technology efficiently converts CO2 into a range of high-demand products, including AIRMADE vodka, perfume and aviation fuel, all while mitigating the harmful greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

In 2022, Air Company debuted its AIRMADE sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) — which the company says has the potential to offer the highest greenhouse gas emission reduction of any such fuel yet created. Alongside this, the company created the first drop-in fully formulated CO2-derived SAF in a single-step process — meaning no changes need to be made to airplanes or existing infrastructure for the fuel to be used.

“The aviation industry’s response to AIRMADE SAF has been beyond our hopes; we’ve already lined up a cohort of airline partners spanning Boom Supersonic, Air Canada, JetBlue, and more,” Constantine said. “It’s really exciting to work alongside some of the key players in aviation to decrease the impact of the industry as a whole.

“This last year was pivotal for our business and saw the accelerated commercialization of our suite of carbon technologies as we scale on our path towards world-scale production,” he added. “Everything we do has been designed to mitigate any potential negative externalities. We use renewable energy, green hydrogen produced onsite, and carbon dioxide as inputs; and our only superfluous output is oxygen.”

Air Company continues to work with government agencies and after a careful vetting of the industry, the US Department of Defense awarded the company a $65 million procurement authority — which allows it to work with a variety of military agencies honing the ongoing work behind things such as modular on-site fuel production.

The US military is the largest consumer of fuel on the planet. By teaming up with Air Company, the US government can reduce its carbon footprint and boost its operational resilience through fuel sovereignty. AIR COMPANY is also making significant headway in aviation, which if tallied globally, would rank as the sixth-highest nation in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

“By starting out in the consumer industry and creating household products like AIR Vodka and AIR Eau de Parfum, we were able to raise the general public’s awareness about technological solutions to climate change that are available to industries right now,” Constantine said. “Our consumer products are a representation of the impact possible if our AIRMADE technology is integrated into the supply chain of these massive industries.”

The company has already started producing fuel in significant quantities and is now opening commercial plants and aligning partners to accelerate the process.

“We estimate that AIRMADE™ technology at large scale and widespread deployment has the potential to reduce annual global greenhouse gas emissions by 10.8 percent; and we hope to go beyond that through our R&D efforts and expansion into new products,” Constantine asserted. “Five years from now, we hope to be producing SAF at a wide scale and onboarding even more partners to commit to stopping the climate crisis from being a crisis.”

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