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Startup revolutionizes fight against air pollution with groundbreaking technology: 'A viable option'

"There's a recognition from these very large multinational firms that direct air capture … can offer an opportunity to expand profitability and grow."

"There's a recognition from these very large multinational firms that direct air capture ... can offer an opportunity to expand profitability and grow."

Photo Credit: Avnos

A direct air capture startup is revolutionizing how companies fight air pollution. 

Avnos, a DAC startup dedicated to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, raised $36 million in funding from NextEra Energy Resources, according to a news report from Canary Media.

Touting itself as the world's largest producer of wind and solar energy, NextEra Energy Resources is a leader in the clean energy industry. In an effort to expand its portfolio, NextEra Energy Resources invested in Avnos' hybrid approach to DAC, which captures both carbon and water from the atmosphere. 

​"We believe wind and solar together with Avnos' technology could provide a viable option to abate emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors," said Rick Clark, NextEra's Vice President of Strategy and Product Solutions, in a statement quoted in the Canary Media report.

Direct air capture is the process of removing and recycling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through chemical reactions. The carbon pulled from the air is then typically stored underground or used to make concrete or other materials. 

In about the past 40 years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by more than 20%, largely due to human activities, according to government reporting. The current rate of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere is faster than it was before the Industrial Revolution and also faster than the Earth's natural carbon sinks can absorb. Carbon pollution is one of the leading causes of the globe's rising temperatures

To address this, Avnos' DAC initiative aims to help restore the planet's carbon equilibrium by removing pollution in the atmosphere. While reducing pollution-producing processes in the first place is the best way to make a difference, by pulling excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, Avnos is helping to reduce the environmental impact.

Last fall, Avnos started utilizing its first commercial pilot system in Bakersfield, California, which has the ability to capture about 30 metric tons (about 33 tons) of carbon dioxide annually. The plant in Bakersfield not only pulls carbon from the air but also simultaneously produces 150 metric tons (about 165 tons) of water each year, per Canary Media.

A few months ago, the startup expanded to the East Coast, opening a laboratory in Bridgewater, New Jersey, with the goal of growing its hybrid system.

"Broadly speaking, the NextEras of the world see an opportunity to expand their operations," Will Kain, CEO of Avnos, told Canary Media. ​"There's a recognition from these very large multinational firms that direct air capture and the energy transition writ large can offer an opportunity to expand profitability and grow."

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