UK’s first direct air capture plant switched on at the University of Sheffield

Mission Zero Technologies has turned on the UK’s first direct air capture plant as part of a project with the University of Sheffield to enable jet fuel made from air.

One of only two commercially-financed direct air capture (DAC) systems operational in the world, the plant was sold to the University of Sheffield’s Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC), a world-leading zero-carbon energy research institution.

The remotely-operated electrochemical plant will recover 50 tonnes of high-purity CO₂ from the atmosphere using water and solar electricity generated on TERC’s site. TERC will use this CO₂ in a first-of-a-kind UK project to validate the end-to-end production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from atmospheric carbon. The project aims to eventually certify this fuel so that it can be rapidly scaled to help decarbonise UK aviation.

The deployment is an important step for scaling DAC, recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a critical technology for humanity to meet its 1.5°C obligations. It also serves to reinforce the UK’s position as an international climate leader accelerating critical solutions to help deliver Net Zero.

DAC is a novel technology capable of providing a scalable source of sustainable carbon to help the UK government meet its mandate for 10% SAF jet fuel by 2030. TERC’s DAC-to-jet fuel project will provide project financiers and developers with the analysis required to scale a UK SAF ecosystem. By proving DAC’s readiness for industrial deployment, it will also pave the way for more fossil-dependent industries to rapidly decarbonise.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Managing Director of TERC, said: “This installation is hugely exciting for us, and for the world, as we discover more about the potential for decarbonised industrial processes and air transport using novel DAC technology. We’re excited to work closely with MZT on this project and other world-leading activities.” – Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Managing Director of TERC

Dr Nicholas Chadwick, CEO of Mission Zero Technologies, said: “We’re thrilled to be delivering our first ever DAC plant on home soil with the University of Sheffield. DAC is a multi-use technology able to drive deep industrial decarbonisation and permanent carbon removal. Through pioneering partnership, we’re already realising that potential.” – Dr Nicholas Chadwick, CEO of Mission Zero Technologies