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LanzaTech and LanzaJet Launch CirculAir™ to Convert Trash into SAF

Published by Todd Bush on June 27, 2024

The aviation industry, a vital force connecting people and economies across the globe, faces a significant environmental challenge – its heavy reliance on fossil fuels. This dependence translates into a substantial contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, hindering progress towards a sustainable future. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has emerged as a promising solution, but its limited availability and high cost have been major roadblocks to widespread adoption. However, a revolutionary innovation from LanzaTech and LanzaJet – CirculAir™ – is poised to take flight, literally turning everyday trash into clean-burning jet fuel.

RELATED: LanzaTech and LanzaJet Introduce CirculAir™, a Revolutionary and Commercially Ready Solution to Convert Waste, Carbon, and Renewable Power to Sustainable Aviation Fuel

LanzaTech and LanzaJet Launch CirculAir™ to Convert Trash into SAF

CirculAir™: A Joint Offering for a Sustainable Future

CirculAir™ is a groundbreaking collaboration between LanzaTech, a leader in carbon recycling technology, and LanzaJet, a pioneer in sustainable fuels production. This joint offering represents a significant leap forward in the quest for clean aviation fuel. Imagine throwing away food scraps or yard waste, only to see them take to the skies as part of a sustainable jet fuel blend! CirculAir™ makes this a reality by employing a two-step process that transforms various waste sources into high-quality SAF.

The first step involves LanzaTech's innovative gas fermentation technology. This technology acts like a super-powered composting system, capable of converting a wide range of waste materials into clean ethanol fuel. Municipal solid waste (MSW), agricultural residues, and even captured carbon dioxide (CO2) can be utilized as feedstock, making CirculAir™ a powerful tool for waste management. The resulting clean ethanol fuel, aptly named CarbonSmart™ ethanol, becomes the key ingredient for the next step in the process.

Following the initial fermentation stage, LanzaJet's proven Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology takes center stage. This well-established process refines the CarbonSmart™ ethanol into high-quality, drop-in SAF. This means the fuel seamlessly integrates with existing aircraft infrastructure, requiring no modifications to planes or fueling systems. Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet, emphasizes the game-changing nature of CirculAir™, stating in a press release, "CirculAir brings to market a revolutionary, integrated pathway to convert carbon and waste inventories across our global society as well as the ability to utilize emerging renewable power supply and CO2 through direct air capture as an economical and commercially viable approach to creating SAF."

LanzaTech and LanzaJet Launch CirculAir™ to Convert Trash into SAF

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Beyond Waste Reduction: A Multifaceted Approach to Sustainability

The benefits of CirculAir™ extend far beyond simply diverting waste from landfills. This innovative solution is projected to deliver a significant environmental impact by slashing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation by at least 85% compared to traditional jet fuel. In some cases, depending on the specific waste feedstock used, the process can even achieve carbon negativity, actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This aligns perfectly with the aviation industry's goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Economically, CirculAir™ offers a compelling proposition. Widespread adoption is expected to drive down the global cost of SAF through economies of scale. This, coupled with the ability to create a domestic SAF supply chain in any country, makes CirculAir™ an attractive option for airlines and governments alike. Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, underscores the vast potential of this technology, stating, "Over 100 billion gallons of fossil fuel-derived jet fuel are consumed each year – with our joint technology, we can turn that into 100 billion gallons of reliable jet fuel powered by recycled carbon."

Breaking Down Barriers: A Scalable Solution for a Global Challenge

SAF adoption has historically been hampered by three major challenges: supply constraints, high costs, and technical hurdles. CirculAir™ directly addresses these barriers, paving the way for a more sustainable future for aviation. The technology's ability to utilize a wide range of waste-based feedstocks tackles the issue of supply constraints, while the projected cost reduction through economies of scale addresses the economic barrier. Finally, the seamless integration with existing infrastructure eliminates any technical hurdle associated with using SAF.

The scalability of CirculAir™ is further bolstered by LanzaTech and LanzaJet's ongoing global projects. From Australia and New Zealand to the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, these collaborations showcase the technology's potential to be implemented on a global scale. This collaborative spirit exemplifies the kind of partnership needed to tackle the climate crisis.

A Beacon of Hope for a Sustainable Future

CirculAir™ is a beacon of hope for a more sustainable aviation industry. By transforming everyday waste into clean-burning jet fuel, this innovation has the potential to significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and propel us towards a greener tomorrow. Companies like LanzaTech and LanzaJet are leading the charge, demonstrating that technological advancements can create a win-win situation for both the environment and the economy. With CirculAir™ taking flight.

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