Montana Technologies LLC and the US Department of Energy have announced new plans to commercialise AirJoule.
They have successfully overcome the commercialization barriers that once hindered the widespread adoption of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) to harvest the atmosphere as an around-the-clock renewable thermal energy and drinkable water source.
The discovery science breakthrough had been researched by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for more than 20 years.
Montana Technologies licensed PNNL's invention, engineered and built the system to make it all work, and will now commercialize and scale MOFs in its partnership with BASF in their AirJoule product, so it can be applied in commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
It will also be used in applications where drinkable water is needed via a low-cost, energy efficient method.
AirJoule is a novel clean technology to assist HVAC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in providing efficient and sustainable air conditioning as well as pure water from the air.
AirJoule technology offers the lowest energy consumption per litre of water removed from the air when compared with any competing technology that has been developed to date.
The patented system works by using the atmosphere as an accessible renewable thermal energy and water resource, costing less than conventional dehumidification systems and using up to 75 per cent less electricity.
"We have long recognized the potential of MOFs to extract molecules from the atmosphere, but the cost was always too high to make their use economically viable," according to Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, director of the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy.
"The AirJoule platform solves this issue and will potentially have many uses to decarbonize and improve our world."
Through a joint development agreement with BASF, Montana Technologies has demonstrated scale-up and production of MOFs in volumes at a commercially viable cost.
Montana Technologies CEO, Matt Jore, said it was an honour to work with a world-class team of researchers and scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on this important breakthrough.
“The commercial HVAC industry accounts for nearly 30 per cent of all global warming emissions and 20 per cent of power consumption worldwide. By incorporating the new AirJoule platform into future cooling products and in regions where drinkable water is in short supply, there is an unprecedented opportunity to make a materially positive impact on our world,” he said.
Through a Strategic Partnership Project (SPP) Agreement, PNNL and Montana Technologies developed MOF recipes and coating processes to optimize the performance of early AirJoule prototypes.
Montana Technologies announced on 5 June, 2023, that it will combine with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition II Corp and list on the NASDAQ.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, and broad commercial adoption of the technology will occur in late 2024.