American Airlines today announcement an agreement with Graphyte to purchase “carbon removal credits” to help accelerate its long-term goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. According to the announcement, the airline will purchase credits equivalent to 10,000 tonnes of permanent carbon removal with delivery scheduled for early 2025. Extract from the report: Graphyte uses a process called carbon casting that converts byproducts from agriculture and wood industries, such as wood bark, rice husks and plant stems, which have captured carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. The plant material is dried to prevent decomposition, then converted into carbon dense bricks which are sealed with a polymer barrier. These bricks are stored in underground chambers and monitored by sensors to ensure that carbon does not escape, according to the company.
Plant byproducts from agriculture and wood industries are commonly burned or left to decompose, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This biomass equates to 3 billion tons of potential carbon dioxide removal per year, according to Graphyte. Graphyte claims that carbon casting is a cheap and scalable alternative to expensive and technologically intensive methods of carbon capture and removal. The company is backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investment firm founded by Bill Gates that funds clean energy technologies.