Airbus Innovators Shortlisted for German Future Prize with CO2 Capture Breakthrough

Airbus Innovators Shortlisted for German Future Prize with CO2 Capture Breakthrough

(IN BRIEF) A team of engineers and a developer from Airbus has been shortlisted as one of the top three finalists for the prestigious German Future Prize 2023. Their nomination is in recognition of their innovative work in developing Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology. DAC technology effectively removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and repurposes it for industrial use. Airbus has adapted this technology from adsorber technology used on the International Space Station. The process involves drawing in air, capturing CO2 with an amine filter, and then releasing processed air with significantly reduced CO2 levels. Airbus is actively working on DAC technology as part of its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the aviation industry, alongside other initiatives like Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and hydrogen-based solutions.

(PRESS RELEASE) MUNICH, 13-Sep-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Airbus (EPA: AIR), a European multinational aerospace corporation, announces that its dynamic team of two engineers and a developer  has emerged as one of the top three finalists for the esteemed German Future Prize (Deutscher Zukunftspreis) 2023. Their remarkable entry revolves around the pioneering development of Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, designed to effectively remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This prestigious award is conferred by the German Federal President to recognize scientific excellence combined with practical applications that significantly benefit society.

“I would like to congratulate the team: Antje Bulmann, Viktor Fetter and Tobias Horn. The trio’s achievement in producing the DAC modules is a perfect example of how technologies from the space industry can be refined for use on Earth and help to reduce CO2 emissions,” said Airbus Chief Technical Officer, Dr Sabine Klauke.

The Direct Air Capture (DAC) process stands as a groundbreaking solution that directly extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the ambient air and subsequently stores or repurposes it for various industrial applications. Airbus is at the forefront of embracing DAC technology as part of its multifaceted approach to decarbonize and reduce CO2 emissions within the aviation industry.

At the core of the Airbus team’s DAC innovation lies the adaptation of an adsorber technology initially designed for use aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This technology was originally developed to reliably eliminate the CO2 exhaled by astronauts from the spacecraft’s atmosphere. The ingenious application of this technology on Earth now enables the extraction of CO2 from the air through an absorptive DAC process.

Here’s how it works: A fan initiates the process by drawing in air, which subsequently passes over a solid amine filter designed to selectively capture CO2. The processed air that is released contains virtually no CO2, a phase that continues until the amine resin becomes saturated with the greenhouse gas. The second stage involves the heating of the filter, regenerating it and desorbing a concentrated stream of CO2, which can be repurposed for various applications or safely sequestered underground.

Airbus is concurrently pursuing a range of innovative technologies in its unwavering commitment to reduce CO2 emissions within the aviation sector. These initiatives include fleet modernization, enhanced air traffic management, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), and, in the long term, Direct Air Capture (DAC) and hydrogen-based solutions.

The recognition of the Airbus team’s efforts as a finalist for the German Future Prize underscores their dedication to advancing sustainable technologies with a profound impact on climate change mitigation.

For additional images and detailed information, please visit the German Innovation Award website:

Media contact:

Heiko Stolzke
External Communications – Airbus Commercial Aircraft
Phone: +49 151 4615 0714




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