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LanzaTech, LanzaJet introduce CirculAir™ to convert waste, carbon and renewable power into SAF

LanzaTech Global Inc. and LanzaJet Inc. announced June 27 they are launching CirculAir™, a new joint offering to convert waste, carbon and renewable power into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to accelerate decarbonization of the aviation industry globally.


LanzaJet described CirculAir as a breakthrough offering that provides an economical and commercialized alternative to Fischer-Tropsch technology to create eFuels, power-to-liquids (PtL) and waste-to-fuels leveraging the ASTM-approved SAF-production pathway that uses ethanol as the biointermediate and alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology to produce SAF and renewable diesel. 


CirculAir is a formalized joint offering and end-to-end technology solution that turns nearly any waste source including municipal solid waste (MSW), agricultural residues, carbon emissions from industrial and refining processes, carbon dioxide (CO2) through direct air capture and renewable power into SAF.


CirculAir combines the technologies of LanzaTech and LanzaJet to form “an efficient and economically compelling offering” that provides the aviation industry with a solution to produce waste-based SAF on a global scale, according to the companies.


CirculAir first incorporates LanzaTech’s novel gas-fermentation technology to convert nearly any waste resource into CarbonSmart™ ethanol and then, second, executes LanzaJet’s ATJ technology by taking the ethanol and converting it to drop-in SAF.


The SAF made through this process is expected to reduce aviation emissions by at least 85 percent and can also produce carbon-negative results, depending on the feedstock.


SAF is estimated to account for 65 percent to 70 percent of overall aviation-emissions reduction to achieve net zero by 2050, making it a critical tool for this hard-to-abate industry.


Historic supply constraints, high costs and technical barriers, however, have made it difficult for the industry to default to SAF as the primary fuel source, according to the two companies.


“CirculAir breaks down these barriers,” they stated.


The technology is able to turn a wide range of waste-based feedstocks into SAF, and, according to LanzaTech and LanzaJet, it is being adopted by a range of customers across the globe.


“This widespread adoption is projected to accelerate the production and economies of scale necessary to bring down the global cost of SAF,” they stated.


Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet, said, “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. Our relationship with LanzaTech is global, with work already underway on five continents. Combining the technologies of our respective companies into CirculAir is an industry-first opportunity to create a domestic SAF supply in any country by transforming waste sources or recycled carbon into SAF using our ASTM-approved ethanol-to-SAF pathway.”


LanzaJet and LanzaTech, two independent companies, have a long history of collaborating to bring emerging technologies to market and scale nascent industries.


The two companies currently maintain joint projects throughout the world, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.K. 


“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,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech and board chair of LanzaJet. ​“In joining forces with CirculAir, LanzaTech and LanzaJet are making it clear that versatile, abundant waste carbon can give us what we need to help people travel and eliminate our dependence on fossil resources.”


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