LanzaTech has produced its first 1,5000 gallons of jet fuel from Lanzanol – low carbon ethanol produced from waste industrial gases from steel mills via a fermentation process. In partnership with Virgin Atlantic, the fuel has been tested and passed all performance tests with early results showing the ethanol derived biojet fuel has carbon savings of 65 percent as compared to conventional jet fuel.
This initial batch of Lanzanol was produced in China at the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) demonstration facility. The ethanol to jet fuel process deveopment also included assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Lab and the U.S. DOE.
“This is a real game changer for aviation and could significantly reduce the industry’s reliance on oil within our lifetime,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Atlantic was the first commercial airline to test a bio-fuel flight and continues to be a leader in sustainable aviation. We chose to partner with LanzaTech because of its impressive sustainability profile and the commercial potential of the jet fuel. Our understanding of low carbon fuels has developed rapidly over the last decade, and we are closer than ever before to bringing a sustainable product to the market for commercial use by Virgin Atlantic and other global airlines.”
The next step is for the two companies to work with with Boeing and other industry colleagues to complete additional testing and begin the approval process to use Lanzanol in commercial flights. Once the biojet fuel is approved, LanzaTech will raise funds for its first commercial production biorefinery with an eye on the UK for its home.
“We can now truly imagine a world where a steel mill can not only produce the steel for the components of the plane but also recycle its gases to produce the fuel that powers the aircraft,” said Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive of LanzaTech. “This program illustrates that such breakthroughs are only possible through collaboration. In this case, it is governments (US DOE, FAA, DARPA), laboratories (PNNL, AFRL, SWRI, MTU, UDRI), NGOs (RSB) and industry (Virgin, HSBC, Boeing, Shougang, Airlines for America) coming together to disrupt our current global carbon trajectory. We look forward to working with colleagues past, present and future to make this pioneering new fuel a commercial reality.”