Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) producer LanzaJet has opened the world’s first ethanol-based SAF plant in Soperton, Georgia, United States, on January 24, 2024.
The new Freedom Pines production plant is a greenfield facility with the capacity to produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel annually through the Alcohol-to-Jet (AtJ) pathway, which uses agricultural waste as feedstock. This technology has the potential to reduce greenhouse emissions by 70% compared to traditional Jet A1 fuel.
LanzaJet is the aviation-focused spin-off of sustainable energy company LanzaTech, which went public on Nasdaq in February 2023 through a $2 billion SPAC deal. Its plans to produce SAF from sustainable ethanol at scale have attracted the attention of an airline industry that is desperately looking for sources of still scarce and pricey sustainable aviation fuel.
The International Airlines Group (IAG) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) are among LanzaJet’s investors, a roster that is completed with other prominent green energy investors such as the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund and Breakthrough Energy.
While the European Union has opted to stimulate SAF adoption through mandates, the United States has opted instead for an incentives-based approach to reach the goal of producing three billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030.