It’s no secret that developing, producing, and scaling sustainable aviation fuel takes a significant amount of partners and funding. Breakthrough Energy’s Catalyst Grant has enabled our new plant to maintain its current timeline of opening in 2023 and beginning our production of 10 million gallons per year of SAF and renewable diesel. It has also improved the cost profile of our sustainable fuels by enabling us to avoid securing expensive capital.
On December 13, 2022, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst grantee LanzaJet marked a major construction milestone at its Freedom Pines Fuels facility in Soperton, Georgia—the world’s first ethanol-based alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant. This facility will significantly accelerate the production of SAF, a critical alternative to fossil fuel and an important technology for tackling one of the most pressing and complicated challenges in decarbonizing the aviation industry.
This historic event came just two months after Breakthrough Energy announced that its first Catalyst project funding will go to the first-of-its-kind facility in the form of a $50 million grant. The BE Catalyst program is designed to bring together corporate and philanthropic organizations to accelerate the deployment of essential technologies by funding key first-of-a-kind commercial-scale projects.
The Freedom Pines Fuels facility is expected to produce nine million gallons of SAF and one million gallons of renewable diesel annually – which would roughly double the amount of current SAF production in the United States. This fuel will be compatible with existing aircraft throughout the world and make it possible to transition away from current jet fuel with the urgency necessary to achieve ambitious climate goals.
The aviation industry faces unique challenges when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Aviation contributes 2-3% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonization of the industry is expensive. The average lifespan of a commercial plane lasts decades, making planes themselves impossible to replace at scale and the production of sustainable aviation fuel a critical solution for decarbonizing the aviation industry.
Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet, spoke with enthusiasm about the future of sustainable aviation and the role of the Catalyst funding and BE network in breaking ground on the Freedom Pines Fuel facility, sharing, “The Breakthrough Energy network has provided LanzaJet with a committed, relentless network of corporate and philanthropic organizations who are committed to scaling the technologies needed to meet our climate goals.”
The Freedom Pines Fuel facility is expected to complete construction in 2023.
About LanzaJet Inc.
LanzaJet is a leading sustainable fuels technology company dedicated to accelerating the energy transition by embracing the circular economy. As a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technology provider and a sustainable fuels producer with patented technology, LanzaJet is creating an opportunity for future generations by accelerating the deployment of sustainable aviation fuel and other clean technology which is critical in addressing the climate crisis and transforming the global economy. Further information is available at lanzajet.com.
About Breakthrough Energy & Catalyst
Breakthrough Energy was founded by Bill Gates in 2015 to accelerate the clean energy transition and help the world reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Through investment vehicles, philanthropic programs, policy advocacy and other activities, Breakthrough Energy is committed to scaling the technologies the world needs to meet its climate goals. Breakthrough Energy Catalyst is a first-of-its-kind model to finance the new solutions that will underpin a zero-carbon economy, focused initially on four technology areas: sustainable aviation fuel, long-duration energy storage, green hydrogen, and direct air capture. Learn more about Breakthrough Energy and Catalyst at breakthroughenergy.org.