Published 1 year ago.
About a 7 minute read.
Image: Air Company
2 startups at the forefront of the carbon-capture space, Air Company and LanzaTech, continue to expand their portfolio of carbon-negative products and groundbreaking brand partnerships that will ensure global proliferation of their technologies.
Image credit: US Air Force
which has made a splash in recent years with its alcohol
products — including Air
Hand Sanitizer and Eau De Parfum — made from converted carbon, has now launched
its Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) made from captured CO2.
The impact potential of Airmade™ SAF is underscored by out-of-the-gate
commitments from several global aviation partners — including JetBlue,
Virgin Atlantic and Boom Supersonic — to purchase over one billion
gallons. The United States Air Force has already kicked off its Airmade SAF
partnership with the completion of a first-of-its-kind, unmanned flight using
Air Company's 100 percent unblended, CO2-derived jet fuel.
Aviation represents 2-3 percent of global CO2 emissions and is widely considered
one of the most "hard to decarbonize"
By directly addressing our fossil fuel dependency, Air Company and its partners
aim to mitigate that impact in a meaningful way — enabling a circular process
that has the potential to address over one billion metric tons of CO2 emissions
"Prior methods of producing synthetic fuel rely on natural gas or the
was developed in 1925 with few fundamental improvements since then," explains
Air Company co-founder and CTO Dr. Stafford Sheehan. "Application of our new
carbon conversion process has the potential to replace legacy Fischer-Tropsch
systems by simplifying a multi-step conversion into single-step CO2
hydrogenation to fuel-grade paraffin. Furthermore, with additional reactor
modifications, we can produce a fuel composition that is able to be used in a
jet engine without the need for any blending with fossil fuel, as demonstrated
in our test flight with the US Air Force. Our single-step process will make SAF
more cost-effective, toward widespread use."
CO2 is a practically unlimited resource due to the carbon cycle in our
atmosphere, making it a renewable and abundant feedstock. Airmade SAF shows the
potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 97 percent compared to
traditional jet fuel. Using the same proprietary technology that mimics photosynthesis to create its
consumer ethanol, Air Company has developed and deployed its single-step process
for CO2-derived fuel production using renewable electricity. Further technical
details on the process can be found in a white paper published by the
company in the
journal ACS Energy Letters earlier this year.
"Our goal as an organization has always been to expand into industries where our
technology will have the largest impact and the most CO2 reduction," explained
Gregory Constantine, CEO and co-founder of Air Company. "We have been
quietly working on this innovation; and we're proud to debut this SAF technology
and commercialization in partnership with some of the most impactful and
innovative companies in the world. The aviation industry is a leading
contributor to excess CO2 in our atmosphere; and with this announcement, we and
our partners aim to create a direct pathway towards a seismic shift away from
legacy fossil-fuel-based production in a cost-effective manner. We're excited
about the future and anticipate seeing more partners commit to phasing out
fossil fuel use and decarbonizing aviation altogether."
At COP26 in 2021, JetBlue joined the Sustainable Aviation Buyers
— adding to the Alliance’s purchasing power to stimulate the scaling of supply
chains for alternative fuels and to encourage policy support. Now, JetBlue has
signed an agreement with the intent to purchase 25 million gallons of Airmade
SAF over 5 years. This agreement is in support of JetBlue Ventures' direct
capital investment into Air Company's Series A funding round.
"SAF is the most promising avenue of addressing aviation emissions currently
available," said Sara Bogdan, JetBlue's Director of Sustainability and ESG.
"With creative thinking backed by science, Air Company's work to leverage
captured carbon — a resource distinct from other SAF
— represents the kind of innovation that can expand SAF availability and grow
the market necessary to reach our industry goals. We're excited to build upon
this partnership established by JetBlue Ventures as we continue on our own
to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040."
Other partnerships include those with Virgin Atlantic, which has signed an
agreement to purchase up to 100 million gallons of Airmade SAF over 10 years;
the US Air Force, which awarded Air Company a contract of over $1MM for 5
gallons of Airmade SAF that met the US Air Force's strict fuel performance
parameters — which was successfully tested before flying the first-ever
carbon-neutral flight by a jet engine UAS; and Boom Supersonic, the company
building the world's fastest airliner, which has signed an intent to purchase up
to 5 million gallons of Airmade SAF on an annual basis through its
Overture flight test program.
Image credit: Givaudan
Meanwhile, Givaudan — a global leader in the world of scent and beauty
— has joined forces with carbon-capture and -transformation leader
LanzaTech for the development of sustainable fragrance
ingredients from renewable carbon.
Renewable carbon is carbon that avoids or substitutes the use of additional
fossil carbon; examples include carbon from CO2 and carbon recycling. Multiple
commercial facilities are already licensing LanzaTech’s technology, converting
various waste-carbon sources to ethanol — including the conversion of industrial
emissions in China, thanks to the power of industrial biology and a
proprietary biocatalyst. With over 15 years’ scale-up experience, LanzaTech’s
approach to carbon transformation is bringing renewable carbon into people’s
lives through the conversion of emissions to ethanol and the subsequent
conversion of ethanol to the building blocks necessary to make a wide range of
consumer goods that would otherwise come from virgin fossil resources.
The Illinois-based company has continued to expand applications of its
carbon-capture and -transformation technology by partnering with major
companies. In the past year alone, the startup made its first foray into
carbon-negative fragrances by partnering
and diversified quickly by developing polyester from recycled carbon
with lululemon and the first dedicated end-of-life tire-recycling
with Bridgestone Americas; turning captured carbon directly
— a key building block for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin,
fibers and bottles — with help from Danone; and helping On create the
first shoe made from carbon
Its subsidiary, LanzaJet is also working to help scale and lower costs of
sustainable aviation fuel and renewable
Now, the research collaboration with Givaudan is expected to leverage
LanzaTech’s synthetic biology capability and go beyond the production of
ethanol, with the companies working together to establish novel pathways to key
fragrance ingredients used across the Givaudan portfolio. By searching for new
opportunities to bring perfumery material innovations to life, the companies
have a shared goal of using sustainable methods to continue serving consumers
through sustainably enhancing the perfumery palette.
“We are very excited about this strategic collaboration with LanzaTech — a
much-respected sustainable materials company that has an impressive heritage,
and a state-of-the-art research platform in renewable carbon solutions,” said
Jeremy Compton, Global Head of Science and Technology for Fragrances at
‘creating for healthier, happier lives with love for nature’ fully aligns with
the aspiration of our two companies to develop products that support us in being
carbon neutral in the future. Together we have the potential to grow with our
respective businesses while increasing our positive impact on the world with
products consumers feel good about, and that preserve our planet.”
“Givaudan has long been an expert in pairing innovation and technology in the
world of fragrance, and we are excited to be working with a company that shares
our vision of a post-pollution future,” said LanzaTech CEO Jennifer
Holmgren. “Together, thanks to the power of synthetic biology, we are
expanding the way in which we can deliver sustainable solutions to all
consumers, giving them a choice as to where their carbon comes from while
protecting our planet.”
Both companies have been longstanding members of the Renewable Carbon
Initiative (RCI), whose goal is
to support and accelerate the transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon
for all organic chemicals and materials.
“Industry has to go beyond using renewable energy,” said RCI founder Michael
Carus. “All fossil carbon use must end, as the carbon contained in the
molecules of chemicals and plastics is destined to end up in the atmosphere
sooner or later. Only a full phase-out of fossil carbon will help to prevent a
further increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.”
Published Sep 27, 2022 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST