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Twelve, Alaska Airlines to collaborate with Microsoft to advance eSAF

Carbon-transformation company Twelve, Alaska Air Group Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on advancing the market for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to include fuels derived from recaptured CO2 and renewable energy, and working toward the first commercial demonstration flight in the U.S. powered by Twelve's E-Jet®.

Through the first-of-its-kind agreement, Twelve, Alaska and Microsoft will work to advance production and use of Twelve's E-Jet®, a low-carbon jet fuel produced by a power-to-liquids process leveraging the company’s carbon-transformation technology, which uses only renewable energy, water and CO2 as inputs to transform CO2 into a variety of critical chemicals and materials conventionally made from fossil fuels.

As part of the work outlined to advance the scalability and use of the technology, the companies will work toward a demonstration flight using E-Jet®, and to supply the fuel to address some of Microsoft’s business travel on Alaska.

“By producing our drop-in E-Jet® fuel from captured CO2, we can rapidly and efficiently close the carbon cycle and allow businesses to sustainably use emissions to power their own business travel,” said Nicholas Flanders, co-founder and CEO of Twelve. “Partnering with progress-minded brands like Alaska Airlines and Microsoft adds thrust as we work towards delivering industrial-scale volumes of E-Jet®.”

Diana Birkett Rakow, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability at Alaska Airlines, said, “Alaska is on a path to net zero by 2040, which will require sustainable aviation fuels like Twelve’s E-Jet®. We are committed to making SAF more widely available, at an affordable price, helping bring new alternatives to market, and using these fuels in our operation—a path that requires public-policy action and private partnerships like this one. We’re excited to work with Twelve and Microsoft to advance Twelve’s E-Jet® fuel, turning captured CO2 and renewable energy into fuel for our airplanes.”

Elizabeth Willmott, the director of Microsoft’s carbon program, added, “Addressing emissions from the economy’s hardest-to-abate sectors, such as aviation, will take commitment from all stakeholders. Building on our Climate Innovation Fund investment in Twelve and relationship with Alaska Airlines, this collaboration provides an opportunity to accelerate decarbonization in the aviation industry by exploring how to use low-carbon fuels produced by renewable electricity, like Twelve’s E-Jet®.”

Produced using Twelve’s carbon-transformation technology and in partnership with Emerging Fuels Technology, E-Jet® is a fuel with more than 80 percent lower lifecycle emissions. Transitioning to E-Jet will not only reduce reliance on fossil fuels but will release fewer particulates and reduce impacts on neighboring communities.

In March, Shopify, one of the largest corporate purchasers of long-term carbon removal, announced the first purchase of E-Jet® through the company’s Sustainability Fund.

SAF is a core part of Alaska’s five-part pathway to net zero by 2040. Since 2010, Alaska has worked with various public and private partners to advance public policies needed to jumpstart the nascent SAF market, create new offtake agreements and cultivate partnerships to accelerate market development.

Alaska was also a founding member of the Aviators Group of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Buyers Alliance, announced at COP26, bringing an operator’s perspective to collaborations driving demand and supply.

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