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Safran invests in Avnos, at the forefront of innovation in CO2 capture

Business

Safran, through Safran Corporate Ventures, 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, LLC, Shell Ventures, ConocoPhillips, Jet Blue Ventures, Envisioning Partners and Rusheen Capital Management.

Founded in 2020, Avnos Inc. 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[1] 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.

Direct Air Capture is a vital technology for decarbonizing the aviation sector, especially for the production of a class of synthetic aviation fuels called electrofuels, or e-fuels, 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. HDAC also creates a virtuous cycle for SAF producers by producing the feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” said Will Kain, CEO of Avnos. “This funding round gives Avnos a solid base from which to accelerate our development.”

[1] An adsorbent is a solid material to which gas or liquid molecules adhere.

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Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap

Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.

Safran Corporate Ventures is Safran's venture capital arm, tasked with funding innovative technology businesses and startups. Since being founded in April 2015, it has contributed financing to fourteen innovative companies active in sectors related to Safran's businesses (decarbonizing aircraft industry, Industry 4.0, onboard components, new materials, new services).

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