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The first ethanol to sustainable aviation fuel facility opens

LanzaJet's plant, will produce 10 million gallons of SAF annually, significantly cutting aviation greenhouse gas emissions.

Airplane Over Corn
ThePixelman | Pixabay

In a significant advancement for the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry, LanzaJet inaugurated the world's first ethanol to SAF production facility, LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels, in Soperton, Georgia. 

LanzaJet's pioneering technology is considered the first viable next-generation solution for scaling SAF production, utilizing widely available feedstock, including emerging commercial waste-based solutions. The facility is expected to produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel annually, utilizing low carbon, sustainable and certified ethanol that adheres to U.S. and global standards.

This facility aligns with the White House’s SAF Grand Challenge, aiming to produce at least 3 billion gallons of SAF annually by 2030 to reduce aviation emissions. The proprietary ethanol to SAF technology at this plant serves as a blueprint for future SAF production facilities.

This facility's opening represents a historic achievement in the SAF industry, tracing its origins back to 2010 when it was the first to develop ethanol to SAF technology in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL). The technology was first used commercially in flights with Virgin Atlantic and All Nippon Airways (ANA) in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis emphasized the importance of this milestone in addressing decarbonization and climate change challenges. He highlighted the facility's role in refining their technology and advancing global sustainable fuels projects.

The inauguration event hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, and other local officials. Secretary Vilsack commended the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to SAF, noting its potential to create new markets for American producers, stimulate the economy and revitalize rural communities.

The event also featured LanzaJet shareholders and investors, including International Airlines Group (IAG), LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co, Shell, Suncor Energy, the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Breakthrough Energy, British Airways and ANA.

LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren lauded the facility as a testament to the accelerating energy transition, emphasizing its role in creating secure supply chains, local jobs, and global SAF production.

The SAF produced at this facility will be used as drop-in fuel for existing aircraft, reducing the aviation industry's contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. The facility, fully funded with committed offtake agreements for the next decade, is projected to create over 250 jobs and generate around $70 million in annual economic activity for the local economy.

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