Lanzajet: sustainable innovation

Matteo Risso

The subject of the day is the ecological transition; more specifically, energy transition. This is what LanzaJet is all about. A vanguard company that has developed an innovative technology that plays FOR the environment. Using alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology, developed by LanzaTech, it aims to make safe and sustainable fuels from waste. In fact, the LanzaJet technology and process are absolutely risk-free; using industry-standard operations and equipment. After 15 years of experimentation, the LanzaJet project is succeeding in producing a blend containing ethanol for use in jet engines.

Someday is now

The alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technology developed by LanzaJet is able to transform carbon emissions into ethanol, which can then be used not only as fuel but also for chemicals. Can you see the revolutionary potential of a technology that can turn a threat to the environment into a renewable energy source? Hopefully, with this ecological transition, we will move from a socio-economic model based on the intensive exploitation of environmental resources to one that respects and preserves natural capital, placing it at the basis of the development model. But why don’t we delve more into the 15-year history of this sustainable project? As they say in LanzaJet, someday is now!

LanzaTech and project roots

An ambitious project and a lot of perseverance; this and the conviction of being doing something great have made this dream a reality. It all started at Pacific Northwest National Labs in 2010, with collaboration from the FAA and the U.S. Department of Energy. Then, in 2014-2016, the project moved to LanzaTech‘s facility in Soperton, Georgia, and, in 2018, finally gained approval from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The first ATJ demonstration unit produced 4,000 gallons of jet and 600 gallons of diesel. The company decided to use some of this fuel to power a commercial passenger flight from Orlando, Florida, to London, England. Outstanding, isn’t it?

The upgrade with LanzaJet

In June 2020, LanzaTech founded a new company, LanzaJet Inc. This aims to address sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel needs; through the commercialization of sustainable innovation together with ATJ technology. LanzaJet’s business model, in fact, provides licensing of ATJ technology and expert project development and operations services. it was precisely thanks to collaborations with realities like Suncor Energy Inc.; British Airways; International Airlines Group’s (IAG), and many others that LanzaJet has managed to produce a new kind of renewable energy. The projections are indeed very promising. Actually, it could be a real lifesaver in case of a major aggravation of the climate emergency! 

LanzaJet and the green energy transition

The International Air Transport Association is committed to reducing emissions by 50% by 2050. It also aims at achieving zero by the end of the same year. If we achieve an energy transition of this magnitude, ATJ technology definitely deserve some credit. Indeed, even if Covid has drastically reduced the touristic flights, the climate emergency is always at the doorstep. For this reason, of the 85 million investment received by the LanzaJet project, 25 million will be used first to build a demonstration plant that, starting from sustainable ethanol sources, will produce 10 million gallons of fuel per year to be invested in sustainable aviation and renewable diesel. 

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