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Texas A&M Energy Institute and AIR TO EARTH® Collaborate for Innovations in the Direct Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide

Published: August 12, 2021
Direct Air Capture: Advancing Decarbonization - Texas A&M Energy Institute and Air to Earth

The Texas A&M Energy Institute and AIR TO EARTH® are pleased to announce a partnership to develop new materials and methods to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce the impacts of anthropogenic climate change.

As the world looks to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and identify ways to capture, utilize and store carbon dioxide, investment in emerging climate technologies is urgently needed. One such promising technology involves the extraction of carbon dioxide directly from the air, also called Direct Air Capture (DAC). This eminently scalable carbon removal pathway involves moving significant volumes of air through specialized materials to selectively separate out carbon dioxide for subsequent use or storage. For DAC to be included in the world’s carbon removal portfolio, technology innovation is needed to drive down costs. 

The Texas A&M Energy Institute and AIR TO EARTH® will modify or design new state-of-the-art materials, called chemical sorbents, which will ideally be able to be produced at low costs, provide durable performance, and efficiently capture carbon dioxide from ambient air. Focusing on porous polymer networks (PPNs), which show great promise for the technological feasibility and driving down the costs of DAC, the project will seek to optimize the materials, processes, and technologies that will eventually lead to an efficient, cost-effective full-scale DAC operation. In addition, the Texas A&M Energy Institute and AIR TO EARTH® will seek to optimize airflow hydraulics and carbon dioxide capture kinetics by simulating systems and methods designed to improve performance and lower the costs and energy requirements of DAC. 

Texas A&M Energy Institute

The team from the Texas A&M Energy Institute will be led by Stratos Pistikopoulos, the director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and a professor of chemical engineering. Pistikopoulos is an expert in the modeling, simulation, and optimization of chemical and energy processes, with an emphasis on sustainable innovative energy solutions, process intensification, and smart manufacturing. Three additional Texas A&M professors bring diverse and extensive experience to the team:

“Carbon capture, utilization, storage, and sequestration constitutes one of the key challenges that the world is facing toward a sustainable future,” said Pistikopoulos. “Capturing CO2 from air, the focus of our joint project between the Texas A&M Energy Institute and AIR TO EARTH®, is an important building block in such a decarbonization effort.”

Air to Earth

The AIR TO EARTH® team will be led by Joseph Stark, the Founder and CEO of Air to Earth LLC, who has over 30 years of wide-ranging energy industry experience as a Wall Street principal investment and commodities trading executive, wind energy developer and petroleum engineer. 

“Global demand for carbon net-zero energy makes the need for natural and technology-based carbon removal crucial,” said Stark.  “Air to Earth® is honored to collaborate with the Texas A&M Energy Institute and its world class team of researchers to accelerate the innovation of materials, systems and methods to drive down the cost of atmospheric carbon dioxide removal by direct air capture.”

This project is year one of a multi-year study, and if successful, will be extended into the future for the eventual development of pilot-scale and full-scale demonstrations of the technology.

About the Texas A&M Energy Institute |

The Texas A&M Energy Institute is a joint institute between Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). The institute engages undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral associates, research staff, and faculty members in the study and development of innovative technologies and policies for energy production and energy conservation in the energy transition. Special attention is paid to elucidating the complexity among the interacting components of energy, economics, law, public policy, and the environment.

About A2E LLC

AIR TO EARTH® believes that a multifaceted approach is the best way to achieve carbon removal at scale and focuses on three pillars: pollution rights removal, natural carbon removal and direct air capture technology innovation. To affect this change, AIR TO EARTH® issues, registers, and retires AIR TO EARTH® Carbon Removal Offsets (A2E CROs) on behalf of individuals, corporations and institutions seeking a measurable and low-cost way to offset difficult to abate carbon emission. Each A2E CRO represents one metric ton of avoided carbon emissions and is backed by carbon pollution rights that we permanently remove from use under an emissions reduction framework validated by 11 States and the U.S. EPA. Proceeds from sales of A2E CROs fund AIR TO EARTH® technology innovation, carbon removal project development, natural carbon removal and advocacy.  A2E LLC is the AIR TO EARTH® technology development company.  It is affiliated with Air to Earth LLC, the AIR TO EARTH® carbon removal project development company, and A2E Solutions LLC, whose mission is to empower individuals, corporations, and institutions to accelerate carbon removal in size.