Waste Carbon Converted To Jet Fuel
the first time, The Virgin Atlantic Airlines’ using a Boeing 747 brought in a new era for lowcarbon aviation as they converted carbon rich gas to a jet fuel.
LanzaTech, a Chicago-based company, developed a unique carbon recycling technology that operated similarly to traditional fermentation but instead of using sugars and yeast to make alcohol, waste carbon-rich gases, such as those found at industrial manufacturing sites, were converted by bacteria to fuels and chemicals, such as ethanol which can be used for a range of low carbon products, including alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK).
LanzaTech used the catalytic expertise of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory, which developed a unique catalytic process and proprietary catalyst to upgrade the ethanol to (ATJ-SPK). This catalyst can remove oxygen from the ethanol in the form of water, and then combine the remaining hydrocarbon molecules to form chains large enough for jet fuel without forming aromatics that can lead to soot wwhen burned.
The ethanol was then converteed to 4000 gallons of ATJ-SPK at LanzaTech’s Freedom Pines facility in Georgia and met all the specifications required for use in commercial aviation.
In April 2018, an internationaal standards body approved the ethanol-to-jet fuel pathway for aviation turbine fuel at up to a 50 percent blend ratio with standard, petroleum-based jet fuel based on LanzaTech’s Research Report.
With co-funding from BETO, LanzaTech is now preparing a design and engineering package for an ATJ production facility implementing the LanzaTech-PNNL ethanol based ATJ-SPK pathway.