A new technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, while simultaneously collecting water that can then be reused for irrigation, is being further developed by Southern California Gas (SoCalGas).

Called Isothermal Water Vapor and CO2 Capture (IWVC), the technology is believed to drastically help cut carbon emissions - and SoCalGas’ vital tests will provide key insight into efficiency, operating costs and ultimately determining the cost-effectiveness of its deployment at scale.

Such effort is off the back of SolCalGas’ new economy-wide technical analysis last month, which revealed that carbon management tools, like direct air capture when combined with electrification and clean fuels deliver a proven path to full carbon neutrality.

The IWVC technology was conceived at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and is being commercialized by Los Angeles-based start-up Avnos.

Nail Navin, Vice-President of Clean Energy Innovation at SoCalGas, said, “The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency highlight the need for carbon management tools to meet our Paris Agreement commitments.

“By helping jumpstart this technology we aim to help California reach its 100% net-zero goals more affordably, more equitably, and with less risk of power disruptions, customer conversion barriers, and technological limitations.”

Dr. Peter McGrail, Laboratory Fellow at PNNL, added, “The IWVC system employs a unique combination of advanced desiccant and CO2 sorbent materials that spontaneously remove moisture and CO2 when brought into contact with air.”

“High temperature is normally used to regenerate desiccants, which would be far too energy intensive and costly for DAC. IWVC’s desiccants instead are regenerated without any outside heating, which makes it economical to produce water along with the CO2.”