Climate and Clean Tech | March 4, 2024

LanzaJet secures $30 million from Southwest Airlines for sustainable aviation fuel

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, March 4 — LanzaJet is a subsidiary of Chicago-based LanzaTech, which uses microbes to convert industrial carbon emissions into sustainable fuel and inputs for textile, rubber and packaging. LanzaJet taps LanzaTech’s supply of low-carbon ethanol to produce sustainable aviation fuel.

Southwest’s investment in LanzaJet will go toward the development of a ethanol-to-fuel production facility, which is expected to help the airline company meet its goal of replacing 10% of its total jet fuel consumption with sustainable fuel by 2030. “Our work together will lead us closer to meeting aviation’s decarbonization goals by continuing to scale SAF production,” said LanzaJet’s Jimmy Samartzis

Decarbonizing air travel

The commercial airlines industry uses 86 billion gallons of fossil jet fuel each year and contributes up to 3% of global carbon emissions. Decarbonization and electrification of air travel is catching on among big-name investors, policymakers and commercial airlines (see, “Zero-carbon air travel takes flight with a wave of new investments”).

British Airways, United, Southwest and JetBlue Airlines have been active investors through dedicated venture funds.

Commercial pilot plant

LanzaJet, at the beginning of this year, opened its first ethanol-to-fuel production facility in Georgia, backed by a $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Freedom Pines Fuel plant, which has secured offtake agreements for all fuel produced over the next decade, will produce 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel yearly from low-carbon ethanol. LanzaJet says the facility will create more than 250 local jobs and generate roughly $70 million in annual economic activity.