Supersonic aircraft company Aerion and direct air capture (DAC) company Carbon Engineering have joined forces to develop solutions for carbon neutral supersonic air travel.

The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) to explore ways in which Carbon Engineering’s synthetic fuel – made from carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from the atmosphere, water, and clean electricity – will power Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet.

By partnering, the two technology companies believe they can take a significant step forward in achieving the common goal of building clean energy transportation networks of the future.

“The fundamental value of fuels made from atmospheric CO2 is that they create a circular system of emissions,” said Steve Oldham, Carbon Engineering’s CEO.

“Our DAC technology captures yesterday’s emitted CO2 and converts it into fuel. When used in any vehicle, the carbon is returned to the atmosphere as CO2, however, the process then captures it again to make more fuel.”

“So, we continually re-use existing CO2, and little or no new carbon emissions are created. This provides a way to decarbonise sectors of transportation that are difficult to electrify and that require the high energy density of liquid fuels, such as aviation or shipping.”

“We’re excited to pair our AIR TO FUELSTM solution with Aerion’s visionary AS2 aircraft, and to open a pathway to delivering the world’s first sustainable supersonic flight.”

Through the agreement, Aerion and Carbon Engineering will also jointly assess requirements to power Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet engine – the first non-afterburning engine built to fly at supersonic speeds across land with no boom reaching the ground – entirely on CE’s synthetic fuel.