US-based energy company ExxonMobil has entered an agreement with California-based materials start-up Mosaic Materials to explore the advancement of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

The agreement is intended to evaluate opportunities for industrial uses of Mosaic Materials’ unique CCS process at scale, which uses porous solids known as metal-organic frameworks to separate carbon dioxide from air or flue gas.

The engagement builds upon ExxonMobil’s CCS portfolio, as the company has a working interest in roughly 20% of global carbon capture capacity.

In May 2019, the company announced an investment of up to $100m over ten years in the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory to research and develop lower-emissions technologies.

ExxonMobil vice president of research and development Vijay Swarup said: “New technologies in carbon capture will be critical enablers for us to meet growing energy demands, while reducing emissions.

“Our agreement with Mosaic expands our carbon capture technology research portfolio, which is evaluating multiple pathways – including evaluation of carbonate fuel cells and direct air capture – to reduce costs and enable large-scale deployment.

“Adding Mosaic’s approach will allow us to build on their work to evaluate the potential for this technology to have a meaningful impact in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

The agreement is part of Mosaic Materials’ efforts to accelerate the impact of its technology, and the company’s latest direct engagement with companies across a range of industries to demonstrate the environmental and financial benefits of its CCS solutions.

Mosaic Materials CEO Thomas McDonald said: “Through this agreement with ExxonMobil, we look to accelerate the pace of our development and demonstrate the business and environmental benefits that our technology can offer.

“Our proprietary technology allows us to separate carbon dioxide from nearly any gas mixture using moderate temperature and pressure changes, substantially increasing energy efficiency and decreasing costs.”

CCS efforts are generally championed by the oil and gas industry but often come under criticism from groups who consider it too ineffective and expensive, arguing that fossils fuels should be abandoned altogether.