State of Tech
How do we pick technologies to pilot at Deep Sky?
Phil De Luna
Chief Carbon Scientist, Head of Engineering at Deep Sky
At Deep Sky, we’re constantly on the lookout for new technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from the air or the ocean. The principle of engineered carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is relatively simple, separating a gas (CO2) from other gases (air) at very low concentrations. However, there are myriad ways and chemistries to make that separation happen.
Many mature technologies use heat or high-temperature steam to run the capture and release process. At the same time, new generations of technologies are being developed that don’t rely on high temperatures, but instead use electricity or water to catch and release CO2. We’ve been scouring the world for new technologies that are developing less energy-intensive ways to capture CO2 directly from the air or the ocean. Here are a few criteria that we use to prioritize our technologies and why:
Pathway to low energy intensity - We are looking for technologies with the potential to be 1000 kWh per ton of CO2 captured or lower in energy intensity. As the world races to decarbonize via electrification, competition for clean electrons will become more fierce. That’s why we’re looking for technologies that can be as low as possible.
Simplicity and focus - While many venture capital firms are looking for CDR technologies that can produce other products to diversify their revenue streams, we are going against the grain and solving for tech that can capture CO2 - that’s it. Too many byproducts can lead to offtake complexities and logistics of getting byproducts to market.
Scalability and supply chain - Building large infrastructure is a challenge of procurement timelines and supply chains. We’re always looking for technology that leverages existing supply chains, has the potential to be mass-manufactured, and doesn’t rely on expensive or rare feedstocks.
Over the coming months, you’ll hear of some of the exciting partnerships with direct air and direct ocean capture companies like Captura, Mission Zero and storage provider Exterra. To get a front-row seat and watch these technologies as they scale, follow along as we share our progress to build the infrastructure to reverse climate change.