Breakthrough Energy, the Washington-based fund founded by the American business magnate Bill Gates, has made a $50 million investment into the sustainable fuel technology developer LanzaJet, which is building the world’s first plant to turn alcohol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The infrastructure will be located in Soperton, in the US.
LanzaJet said the investment of the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst program will help the company accelerate the development of SAF technologies and will support the construction process of the first of its kind commercial-scale SAF plant, which will produce jet fuel from alcohol.
“The grant will also spur further SAF innovation by helping create a new market for scalable, low-carbon ethanol from sustainable sources by setting the expectation that the plant will transition to second-generation ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks, by its fifth year,” LanzaJet wrote.
The developer estimated that the new fuel will contribute to lowering aircraft emissions by at least 70% when compared to regular plane fuel.
According to the manufacturer, the recent investment made by the Bill Gates fund has filled a necessary funding gap. Now the company will be able to maintain its current development timeline.
The Soperton facility, known as the Freedom Pines Fuel Plant, is expected to produce nine million gallons of SAF as well as a million gallons of renewable diesel each year. The new SAF plant is set to start production in 2023.