Air Company fuels first ever test flight with jet fuel made from CO2
Air Company, the world’s leading carbon technology company that creates carbon-negative alcohols and fuels from Carbon Dioxide (CO2), today announced the launch of its Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) made from captured CO2.
The importance of this novel climate technology, distributed under the name AIRMADE™ SAF, is underscored by commitments from global aviation partners to purchase over one billion gallons of AIRMADE™ SAF; including JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic and Boom Supersonic, among others. The United States Air Force has already kicked off their AIRMADE™ SAF partnership with the completion of a first-of-its-kind unmanned flight using Air Company’s 100% unblended CO2-derived jet fuel.
These commitments demonstrate not only the excitement and demand behind the company’s technological advancement, but also the strength of Air Company’s operation and future potential. This technology will be applied globally with significant future implications, especially as it pertains to the levels of fuel production and consumption that we see from the energy industry today. Air Company creates renewable fuels from CO2, directly addressing our fossil fuel dependency, the leading cause of climate change.
Aviation as a whole represents 2-3% of global CO2 emissions and is widely considered one of the most “hard to decarbonize” industries. With this announcement, Air Company and its partners aim to mitigate that impact in a meaningful way, enabling a circular process that has the potential to address over one billion metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. Using the same proprietary technology that mimics photosynthesis to create its consumer ethanol, Air Company has developed and deployed its single-step process for CO2 -derived fuel production using renewable electricity. Further technical details on the process can be found in a white paper published by the company in the journal ACS Energy Letters earlier this year.
“Our goal as an organization has always been to expand into industries where our technology will have the largest impact and the most CO2 reduction,” explained Gregory Constantine, CEO and Co-Founder of Air Company. “We have been quietly working on this innovation, and we’re proud to debut this SAF technology and commercialization in partnership with some of the most impactful and innovative companies in the world. The aviation industry is a leading contributor to excess CO2 in our atmosphere, and with this announcement, we and our partners aim to create a direct pathway towards a seismic shift away from legacy fossil-fuel-based production in a cost-effective manner. We’re excited about the future and anticipate seeing more partners commit to phasing out fossil fuel use and decarbonizing aviation altogether.”
Each major aviation partner Air Company is working with demonstrates the global impact this technology will have, each one using the SAF for respective sustainable initiatives.
JetBlue, the U.S. major airline, has signed an agreement with the intent to purchase 25 million gallons of AIRMADE™ SAF over 5 years. This agreement is in support of JetBlue Ventures’ direct capital investment into Air Company’s Series A funding round.
“SAF is the most promising avenue of addressing aviation emissions currently available,” said Sara Bogdan, JetBlue Director of Sustainability and ESG. “With creative thinking backed by science, Air Company’s work to leverage captured carbon, a resource distinct from other SAF feedstock, represents the kind of innovation that can expand SAF availability and grow the market necessary to reach our industry goals. We’re excited to build upon this partnership established by JetBlue Ventures as we continue on our own path to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040.”
Virgin Atlantic, the UK-based international airline, has partnered with Air Company by signing an agreement with the intent to purchase up to 100 million gallons of AIRMADE™ SAF over 10 years.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Air Company a contract of over $1MM for which Air Company delivered 5 gallons of its AIRMADE™ SAF that met the U.S. Air Force’s strict fuel performance parameters. It was successfully tested before flying the groundbreaking, first-ever carbon-neutral flight by a jet engine UAS, specifically on 100% unblended AIRMADE™ SAF.
Boom Supersonic, the company building the world’s fastest airliner, optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability, has entered into an agreement with Air Company with the intent to purchase up to 5 million gallons of AIRMADE™ SAF on an annual basis through the Overture flight test program. Air Company AIRMADE™ SAF will facilitate the net-zero carbon flight test of Overture, which carries 65–80 passengers at twice the speed of traditional airliners while operating on 100% SAF.
“Prior methods of producing synthetic fuel rely on natural gas or the Fischer-Tropsch process, which was developed in 1925 with few fundamental improvements since then,” elaborates Air Company’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Dr. Stafford Sheehan. “Application of our new carbon conversion process has the potential to replace legacy Fischer-Tropsch systems by simplifying a multi-step conversion into single-step CO2 hydrogenation to fuel-grade paraffin. Furthermore, with additional reactor modifications, we can produce a fuel composition that is able to be used in a jet engine without the need for any blending with fossil fuel, as demonstrated in our test flight with the U.S. Air Force. Our single-step process will make SAF more cost-effective, toward widespread use.”
CO2 is a practically unlimited resource due to the carbon cycle in our atmosphere, making this feedstock renewable and abundant. Air Company’s AIRMADE™ SAF shows the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 97% compared to traditional jet fuel, a significant reduction in carbon intensity due to the use of CO2 as a direct feedstock with renewable energy, creating a more sustainable carbon life cycle.