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Safran invests in California-based CO2-capture company Avnos

Image: Avnos Inc.

Aerospace firm Safran announced Feb. 8 that through Safran Corporate Ventures it has invested in Avnos Inc., a California-based startup specializing in CO2 capture from ambient air in a process called direct air capture (DAC).


The other investors in this funding round are NextEra Energy Resources, Shell Ventures, ConocoPhillips, Jet Blue Ventures, Envisioning Partners and Rusheen Capital Management.


Founded in 2020, Avnos is developing a technology it calls hybrid direct air capture (HDAC), which consists of capturing the low concentrations of CO2 in ambient air.


Avnos stands out for this innovative technology, which significantly reduces the energy used in the DAC process and, unlike rival technologies, does not consume any water.


It works by circulating ambient air in contact with a first adsorbent material—a solid material to which gas or liquid molecules adhere—to extract the water, then a second adsorbent material, which captures the CO2.


The CO2 is released from the material by changing the humidity conditions (called “moisture swing”).


The HDAC process produces a gas mixture with a high concentration of CO2 and has the advantage of recovering water for reuse.


According to Safran, DAC is a vital technology for decarbonizing the aviation sector, especially for the production of a class of synthetic aviation fuels called eFuels, which require CO2 and decarbonized hydrogen.


“Safran Corporate Ventures is playing a key role in identifying disruptive technologies that will help make air transport carbon neutral by 2050 and Safran’s investment in Avnos is a perfect example of this strategy,” said Éric Dalbiès, executive vice president for strategy and chief technology officer at Safran.


“We are racing to scale up HDAC technology to realize its impact on climate change and leverage its economic potential to align stakeholders,” said Will Kain, CEO of Avnos.


“HDAC also creates a virtuous cycle for SAF producers by producing the feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel,” Kain continued. “This funding round gives Avnos a solid base from which to accelerate our development.”



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