United Airlines invests $5m in carbon capture tech company Svante


United Airlines has invested $5m in carbon capture technology company Svante. This is the latest development from the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund, designed to support companies focused on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) research and development.

Svante specialises in carbon capture from the atmosphere using absorbent beds (known as filters). The company claims these filters can capture 95% of CO2 emissions from industrial sites as well as CO2 that’s already in the air. Once captured and compressed, it can be used as a feedstock for SAF.

The investment from United Airlines was made as part of Svante’s series E financing round and will help fund the company’s new carbon filter manufacturing facility in Vancouver, Canada. The new facility is predicted to produce enough filters to capture millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually.

“[United’s] investment in companies like ours will aid in accelerating the commercialisation of carbon capture and removal technology,” said Claude Letourneau, president and CEO, Svante. “Battling climate change through the transition to sustainable aviation fuels and other innovative technologies that will help the world achieve net zero.”

The airline claims to have invested millions in the production of more than 3bn  gallons of SAF already. Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines said that carbon capture technology from company’s like Svante will be critical in aiding the industry to scale the production of SAF.

“At United we’re building on that approach by investing in both companies that can capture CO2 and others that can turn it into fuel,” said Kirby. “There’s no question that this carbon utilisation is in its infancy today, but as a leader in sustainable flying we must help build the foundation to deploy this technology of the future as expediently as possible.”

Svante works alongside Dimensional Energy, a firm that processes Svante’s captured carbon into liquid fuel and has also received investment from United’s Sustainable Flight Fund. Jason Salfi, CEO, Dimensional Energy said that Svante provides the first step towards a circular carbon economy through its air capture technology.

“There is enough CO2 in the atmosphere and in industrial process emissions to provide all of the carbon necessary for the fuels and products people use every day now and into the future,” said Salfi.