- Groundbreaking approach will bring a low-cost, low-energy refrigerant-free HVAC and potable water solution to the world
- Montana’s AirJoule™ technology can reduce power consumption by up to 75% and can reduce carbon emissions by a similar percentage
RONAN, Mont., 15 November 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Montana Technologies LLC, the inventor of AirJoule™, and the Department of Energy announced today that they have successfully overcome the commercialization barriers that once hindered the widespread use of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to harvest the atmosphere as an approx. -24-hour renewable thermal energy and source of drinking water. The scientific discovery breakthrough had been studied 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 for use in commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as in applications where potable water is needed via a cheap, energy efficient method.
AirJoule™ is a new clean technology that helps HVAC Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) deliver efficient and sustainable air conditioning and clean water from the air. The AirJoule™ technology provides the lowest energy consumption per liters of water removed from the air compared to any competing technology developed to date. The patented system works by using the atmosphere as an available renewable thermal energy and water resource that costs less than conventional dehumidification systems and uses up to 75% less electricity.
“We have long recognized the potential of MOFs to extract molecules from the atmosphere, but the costs were always too high to make their use economically viable,” said Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, director of the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy. “The AirJoule™ platform solves this problem and will potentially have many applications to decarbonize and improve our world.”
Through a joint development agreement with BASF, Montana Technologies has demonstrated scale-up and volume production of MOFs at a commercially viable cost.
“It was an honor to work with the world-class team of researchers and scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on this important breakthrough,” said Matt Jore, CEO of Montana Technologies. “The commercial HVAC industry accounts for nearly 30% of all global warming emissions and 20% of electricity consumption worldwide. By incorporating the new AirJoule™ platform into future refrigeration products and in regions where potable water is scarce, an unprecedented opportunity to make a material positive impact on our world.”
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. SPPs and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) have long been a DOE tool for promoting public-private collaborations and transferring technologies to market. In parallel with MOF and coating development, Montana Technologies developed and built the key components and system designs necessary to achieve the low energy and low cost commercial products.
“I was a scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Lab for 39 years before joining Montana Technologies in 2022,” said Pete McGrail, Montana Technologies CTO and former Laboratory Fellow at PNNL. “In my 39 years of scientific discovery and innovation, I’ve only had scientific results like the AirJoule™ happen a few times. The first time all the AirJoule™ components were integrated together as originally conceived earlier this year and water flowed out of the device was extraordinarily gratifying and will one day be remembered, I believe, as a historic moment in scientific achievement.”
Allan TuanSenior Commercialization Manager at PNNL, noted that “AirJoule™ is a wonderful example of a DOE National Lab fulfilling its mission to conduct complex, fundamental, scientific research and to transfer resulting technologies to commercialization partners, such as Montana Technologies, to advance the country’s economic, energy and national security interests while maximizing public returns and influence.”
“Harnessing the power and reach of the private sector to bring DOE clean energy technology to market is a core goal of our department, and AirJoule™ represents a best-in-class manifestation of that goal,” said Dr. Vanessa Z. Chan, Chief Commercialization Officer, DOE and Director of the Office of Technology Transitions. “We are excited to see the many important ways in which this powerful new approach is being applied around the world.”
AirJoule™ key components and system designs are now being made available to HVAC OEMs for widespread air conditioning deployment and will also be distributed through organizations such as Water.org and the Water Keepers Alliance to provide humanitarian and emergency relief to those facing water shortages in Worldwide.
“It’s always exciting when a new approach emerges that challenges conventional wisdom about how best to solve the systemic problems that have plagued our planet for generations,” said Rima Kasia Oueid, Senior Commercialization Executive, DOE. “So you can imagine our excitement when a new approach emerges with the potential to address three at the same time: power consumption, greenhouse gas reduction and water scarcity. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Montana Technologies on this important initiative.”
Montana Technologies announced the 5 June 2023, that it will combine with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition II Corp and list on NASDAQ. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, and wide commercial use of the technology will occur in late 2024.
About Montana Technologies
Montana Technologies is an atmospheric energy and water harvesting technology company that delivers efficient and sustainable air conditioning and clean water from air through its transformative AirJoule™ technology. For more information, visit www.mt.energy.
Andy Maas; Daniel Yunger
DOE Office of Technology Transitions:
SOURCE Montana Technologies