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Microsoft Invests $50 Million In Ethanol-To-Jet Fuel Biorefinery

Microsoft is investing $50 million in a LanzaJet facility in the US that will produce jet fuel from Ethanol by 2023, according to a statement from LanzaJet.

Sustainable Brands reports that Chicago-based LanzaJet has said that it is close to completing on-site engineering at its Freedom Pines Biorefinery and has plans to start producing 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel from sustainable ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks, in 2023,

The airline industry is considered one of the hardest to decarbonise. Renewable aviation fuel accounted for less than 0.1 per cent of the current global jet fuel demand of about 330 million tonnes in 2019, according to investment bank Jefferies. Governments and investors are trying to boost incentives to produce lower-carbon emitting jet fuel.

The company is also being funded by various oil majors, airlines, and other petroleum trading firms, including Suncor Energy Inc., British Airways, and Shell.

SAFs are produced with materials other than crude oil, and produce up to 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions – although this reduction is all in the production stage, with this type of fuel emitting at least as much CO2 inflight as traditional kerosene.

Several airlines have been trialling SAF as part of their jet fuel supplies – in December, United Airlines became the world’s first airline to operate a passenger flight with one engine running on 100 per cent SAF.

The European Union is aiming to increase the amount of SAF blended in petroleum jet fuel to 63percent by 2050.

Microsoft created the Climate Innovation Fund in 2020 to invest $1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology.

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