Amadeus invests in SAF innovator Caphenia
Amadeus has acquired a minority stake in Caphenia, a future producer of synthesis gas—a feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production.
The Germany-based company has developed an innovative approach to produce SAF in a more affordable and scalable way, according to Amadeus.
The decision is part of a wider commitment on behalf of Amadeus to support the industry on its journey toward sustainable travel.
The investment will offer Amadeus enhanced visibility into the challenges of the SAF sector, allowing the company to further explore the role it can play in this key element of the industry’s trek to net zero by 2050.
Caphenia, currently in an advanced stage of development, has established an innovative approach to produce synthesis gas from a mixture of biogas, CO2, water and electricity.
This can be used to produce a variety of renewable fuels, with up to a 92 percent reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the fossil reference value.
The company has secured patent protection for its power-and-biogas-to-liquid (PBtL) process in all relevant core markets worldwide, with a total of 203 granted patents.
“Our process is affordable—using one-sixth of the electricity needed for alternative SAF production methods—and scalable,” said Mark Misselhorn, chief executive of Caphenia. “We have an ambition to offer large-scale production by 2028, aiming to fill the gap between anticipated SAF demand and current supply.”
Misselhorn continued, saying, “For airlines, sustainable aviation fuel is the practical long-term alternative to conventional aviation fuel. The technology of cost-effective, producible SAF means the greatest potential for CO2 savings and an important element that, in combination with others, may help in meeting net-zero targets.”
According to the IATA Net Zero Emission initiative, SAF has the potential to account for 65 percent of the reduction in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions required for the aviation industry to reach net zero by 2050.
New technology is also a key component in contributing to the journey ahead, including electric and hydrogen powered aircraft (13 percent), carbon offset and capture (19 percent) and operational efficiencies (3 percent).
To reach the 65 percent reduction in GHG emissions, production capacity of 449 billion liters (118.6 billion gallons) annually is estimated as needed globally.
To provide perspective, SAF production in 2021 stood at just 125 million liters (33 million gallons)—or less than 0.1 percent of the required estimated production capacity.
Caphenia has plans to commence production next year and is forecasting to produce 10 million liters (2.64 million gallons) of SAF by 2027, planning to increase to over 100 million liters (26.4 million gallons) by 2030 and over 1 billion liters (264 million gallons) before 2035.
“At Amadeus, we are committed to supporting the move to sustainable travel,” said Suzanna Chiu, head of ventures at Amadeus. “We monitor industry trends and developments to determine the most effective ways we can fulfill this ambition and are delighted to act today with the investment in an innovative SAF company. The transaction represents a step forward in our sustainability strategy, taking the perspective from a different part of the value chain in the industry. As the industry moves toward its goal of reaching net zero by 2050, we are taking concrete steps to accelerate the process.”