• Green Plains Inc.

Green Plains, Tallgrass and PNNL awarded DOE funding for sustainable aviation fuel technology


Green Plains Inc., Tallgrass, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced Sept. 6 they have been awarded funding from U.S. DOE to advance sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technology as part of the federal agency’s effort to support the development of valuable biofuels and bioproducts for the clean-energy economy.


“Developing and deploying new technologies to produce sustainable aviation fuel is part of Green Plains’ ongoing transformation and this grant will help fund catalyst optimization, which can lead to a pilot facility and beyond,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO of Green Plains. “We believe the PNNL technology can be a game changer in efficiently converting low-carbon alcohol to sustainable aviation fuel.”


The DOE award will support Green Plains and Tallgrass in funding the demonstration of an innovative process developed by PNNL to convert ethanol to SAF via ketone intermediates, a critical step in proving the scalability of the technology.


Green Plains and Tallgrass currently hold the option to exclusively license the PNNL SAF technology globally.


They will jointly pursue the production of SAF from cellulosic and corn ethanol and intend to commercialize PNNL’s production process upon successful completion of the pilot project.


“New alcohol-to-jet pathways are necessary to achieve the ambitious volume targets for SAF, and our rapidly evolving biorefinery platform is well-positioned to help meet and exceed these targets,” Becker added. “Our collaboration with Tallgrass and our work with PNNL on state-of-the-art technologies positions Green Plains at the forefront of SAF commercialization, which is supported by the expansion of policy to economically develop and deploy novel SAF technology.”


Matt Sheehy, president and CEO of Tallgrass, said, “This partnership represents the type of cross-industrial collaboration that is required to achieve meaningful decarbonization rapidly. At Tallgrass, we believe it is critical to develop and invest in the infrastructure to produce and transport the next generation of clean fuels. We are excited to work alongside Green Plains and PNNL to advance this pioneering SAF production technology and the infrastructure to commercialize large-scale SAF production.”


Green Plains is a biorefining company focused on development and utilization of fermentation, agricultural and biological technologies in the processing of annually renewable crops into sustainable value-added ingredients. This includes the production of cleaner low-carbon biofuels, renewable feedstocks for advanced biofuels and high-purity alcohols for use in cleaners and disinfectants.


Tallgrass is an energy-infrastructure company focused on safely, reliably and sustainably delivering the energy and services that fuel homes and businesses. An investor group led by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, which includes Enagás SA, GIC, NPS and USS, owns the outstanding equity interests in Tallgrass.

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