AirMyne Harnesses Geothermal Energy for Direct Air Carbon Capture Expansion

That’s one way to think about direct air capture, a technology which uses machines to pull carbon dioxide straight from the atmosphere. The ability to use heat from geothermal energy, Cyffka said, is helpful. Geothermal is a really promising pathway for where DAC needs to go.”Along those lines, the company is working with Fervo, pairing its carbon capture system with the geothermal startup’s advanced geothermal project in Utah. In 2026, AirMyne is planning to deploy its carbon capture technology to a sequestration site in San Joaquin County, California, where it will be injected underground. Still, the demand for carbon capture is likely to be so large that the market will have space for several different companies.

When it comes to addressing climate change, insurance may come in a different form than just money. It may come in the form of equipment.

Such is the case with direct air capture (DAC), a revolutionary technology that uses machines to extract carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Though the concept has been around for quite some time, it recently gained significant attention following a 2022 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which emphasized the crucial role of DAC in achieving net zero carbon emissions.

While several companies are actively working to develop this technology, there are numerous hurdles to overcome. These startups must find suitable storage solutions for the captured CO2 as well as customers to purchase it. Additionally, they must make their devices affordable and cost-effective to operate.

One company, AirMyne, believes their proprietary liquid could be the key to overcoming these challenges.

Although other companies have utilized liquids to absorb CO2, they require high-temperature heat to release the gas. However, due to the unique chemical reaction involved, high-temperature regeneration can be more efficient. The drawback is that such intense heat can be difficult to obtain. This is where AirMyne’s liquid sets itself apart – it can release CO2 using low-temperature heat, ranging from just 100-130 degrees C (212-266 degrees F).

AirMyne’s CO2 recycling process may ultimately prove to be less efficient than high-temperature approaches, but co-founder and COO Mark Cyffka believes it offers the company a better chance to grow and scale.

“It’s flexible,” Cyffka told TechCrunch. “During the pilot stage, when attempting to create our first prototype, we can utilize low-temperature heat from sources such as electricity, industrial waste heat, or geothermal energy.”

The company is exploring different system configurations, with the likelihood of modular collectors and a large centralized column for regeneration – similar to those used in large chemical plants where Cyffka previously worked at BASF. AirMyne, a Y Combinator alumnus, is currently testing around 30 prototypes.

The key ingredient in AirMyne’s liquid appears to be one or more variants of quaternary ammonium compounds, as indicated by patents the company has been granted.

Quaternary ammonium is a class of compounds with a wide range of applications, including hand sanitizers, hair care products, and fabric softeners. Interest in these compounds as a CO2 sorbent has recently surged due to their availability, stability, and ability to release captured CO2 without high heat. Some preparations can even release CO2 when exposed to near-saturating humidity, providing another way to regenerate the liquid.

The ability to utilize heat from geothermal energy is a promising aspect for AirMyne’s technology. “It also critically gives you this path to big scale, which I think a lot of the other approaches are going to have a hard time with if they stick with electricity,” Cyffka explained. The company is collaborating with Fervo, pairing their carbon capture system with the startup’s advanced geothermal project in Utah. So far, they have provided samples of their captured CO2 to companies such as CarbonBuilt and Rubi.

In 2026, AirMyne plans to deploy their carbon capture technology at a sequestration site in San Joaquin County, California, where it will be injected underground. To reach this goal, the company recently raised a $6.9 million seed round, as exclusively reported by TechCrunch.

AirMyne’s use of low-temperature heat could allow for their technology to be used at a variety of sites, including geothermal installations, chemical refineries, breweries, and more. However, the size of their regeneration column may ultimately limit the number of potential sites. Additionally, their liquid-based system will require a significant amount of water – about one to seven tons per ton of carbon captured, with some evaporation occurring upon contact with the atmosphere. This may preclude its use in dry regions, such as the American Southwest.

Despite these challenges, the demand for carbon capture is expected to be so high that there will likely be room for multiple companies in the market. AirMyne’s compatibility with geothermal energy may help them establish a significant niche in the industry.

Investors in this latest seed round include Alumni Ventures, Another Brain, Liquid 2 Ventures, EMLES, angel investor Justin Hamilton, Impact Science Ventures, Soma Capital, Wayfinder, and Y Combinator.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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