What is the role of direct air capture in sustainable aviation?

E4tech was commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E) to assess whether, when and how direct air capture (DAC) could be scaled up to make e-kerosene at the scale needed to decarbonise European aviation.

Decarbonising aviation will require significant ramp up of sustainable aviation fuels, including e-kerosene, a fuel produced by combining renewable hydrogen with carbon dioxide (CO2). T&E wanted to know how feasible it would be to do this using CO2 captured from the air, through DAC. This is particularly timely, as the European Commission is preparing to launch Refuel EU aviation, an initiative to boost supply and demand for sustainable aviation fuels in the EU, which is expected to include a target for use of e-kerosene.

E4tech assessed the status of DAC technology today, current and projected costs, and the factors that affect how fast DAC could scale up. This showed that while DAC has high costs today, with only small scale plants built, significant cost reduction and much larger plants are expected in the next five years. DAC has few fundamental constraints on its ability to scale up: the rate at which it does so will depend on the policy available to support it, including in e-fuels production.  

This report will help to inform fuels producers, airlines and policymakers on the status and prospects for DAC, and the policy changes that are needed to ensure that it is scale up quickly and successfully to supply e-fuels, as well as to help us achieve net zero targets.

Read the full report here: 

Back to News

News archive