Dealflow | June 1, 2023

Boeing inks deal to buy green hydrogen from Equatic

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, June 1 – Los Angeles-based Equatic’s novel technology packs a one-two punch. It produces hydrogen from seawater via renewable-powered electrolysis. At the same time, it captures carbon dioxide from the air and stores it in the ocean, a natural carbon sink.

The UCLA spinoff launched with $30 million of mostly grant funding from a mix of government agencies, foundations and an incubator.

To avoid irreversible consequences of climate change, “we need truly disruptive carbon management technologies,” said BeyondNetZero’s John Browne, who chairs Equatic’s advisory board.

Equatic’s costs, he added, “are low enough to allow unprecedented scaling and adoption globally.”

Equatic, which operates pilot plants in Los Angeles and Singapore, hopes to get its carbon removal costs below $100 per metric ton by 2028. 

Catalytic purchases

Advance purchases by corporations such as Boeing play a key role in commercializing emerging technology and speeding declining cost curves. The aviation giant has agreed to buy 2,300 tons of green hydrogen fuel and 68,000 tons of carbon dioxide from Equatic, starting mid-decade.

More than 90% of Boeing’s carbon footprint is Scope 3 emissions from the use of its commercial aircraft. The $62 billion company has pledged to make all of its aircraft sustainable fuel-compatible by 2030.

Sustainable fuel boom

Companies working to produce greener jet fuels fall into two main groups. Equatic is an “electrofuel” producer. The other variety is biofuels.

Utah-based CleanJoule raised $50 million, with backing from airlines like Frontier, Wizz and Volaris, to use agricultural waste and other biomass to make alternative jet fuel. The deal includes a purchase agreement for 90 million gallons, Axios reports.