LanzaJet Takes Major Step in Further Enabling the Decarbonization of the Aviation Sector with the Fabrication and Construction of its First Alcohol-to-Jet Biorefinery

April 13, 2021
To enable the aviation industry in its decarbonization efforts, LanzaJet, Inc. announced today that it has awarded a fixed-price EPC contract to Zeton for the fabrication and construction of the first Alcohol-to-Jet (AtJ) facility.

CHICAGO, April 13, 2021 – The aviation industry is working aggressively to reduce carbon emissions, with the ambition to reach net-zero by 2050 with a focus on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as the key near- and long-term technology to achieve decarbonization. Gaining access to sustainable aviation fuel is critical to helping the aviation industry reduce the emissions from airplanes and the traditional fossil fuels used to power them.  

To enable the aviation industry in its decarbonization efforts, LanzaJet, Inc., a leading sustainable fuels technology company and sustainable fuels producer, announced today that it has awarded a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) contract to Zeton for the fabrication and construction of the first Alcohol-to-Jet (AtJ) facility of its kind in Soperton, Georgia. LanzaJet is deploying a scalable modular construction approach whereby Zeton will construct the majority of the modules along with a smaller number that will be built by Chemical Design, Inc. This modular approach enables LanzaJet to manage fabrication and construction in a controlled environment, closely monitor quality and performance, and conduct testing and many aspects of commissioning before final placement in Georgia. LanzaJet also announced that it has contracted with Burns & McDonnell to provide the engineering design for the utilities and infrastructure at the site.

Fabrication of the modules is already underway, and construction at the site along with existing utility integration will begin this summer, with the plant starting up in 2022 and beginning to produce 10 million gallons per year of sustainable fuels. LanzaJet’s technology is uniquely able to produce up to 90% of its fuels as SAF, with the remaining 10% as renewable diesel. The SAF will be blended with conventional fossil jet fuel and be supplied to airports through existing supply routes. The technology can flex to produce more diesel and less SAF, as desired. LanzaJet’s SAF is approved to be blended up to 50% with fossil jet fuel, the maximum allowed by ASTM, and when blended, is a drop-in fuel that requires no modifications to engines, aircraft, and infrastructure. Additionally, LanzaJet’s SAF can deliver more than a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis, compared to conventional fossil jet fuel. The versatility in ethanol, and a focus on low-carbon, waste-based, and non-food /non-feed sources, along with ethanol’s global availability, make LanzaJet’s technology a relevant and enduring solution for SAF.

LanzaJet was launched in June 2020 following nearly a decade of technology development and commercial scale-up through a partnership by LanzaJet’s founder, LanzaTech, with the U.S Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  The LanzaJet process can use any source of sustainable ethanol for jet fuel production, including, but not limited to, ethanol made from recycled pollution, the core application of LanzaTech’s carbon recycling platform. Last week, LanzaJet announced that Shell joined founding investors in LanzaJet, including LanzaTech, Suncor Energy Inc., Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and more recently, British Airways as well as participation from All Nippon Airways. Additionally, the Freedom Pines Fuels project is supported in part by funding awarded to LanzaTech by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Jimmy Samartzis, LanzaJet CEO, said: “The aviation industry needs access to sustainable aviation fuel. This project could not come at a more critical time as we work together with our investors to help decarbonize the aviation industry by showing how quickly we can develop, scale and commercialize technology to decarbonize the sector. Zeton is recognized globally for its engineering excellence and modular construction, while Burns & McDonnell brings world-class engineering services to design the infrastructure to support the plant. Working with these outstanding firms will help us accelerate the project in an efficient manner, allowing LanzaJet to scale the production of SAF and help address the aviation sector's urgent need to decarbonize with near-term solutions.”

Bob Reymond, president and general manager of the oil, gas and chemical group at Burns & McDonnell, said: “We’re thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to support LanzaJet in the development of this important renewable aviation fuel technology that will improve the quality of life for people around the globe. This project exemplifies one of our guiding principles at Burns & McDonnell: ‘What We Do Matters.’”

Dr. Leisl Dukhedin-Lalla, Zeton president and CEO, said: “Following successful completion of Basic and Detailed Engineering in close collaboration with the LanzaTech team between October 2018 and December 2020, Zeton is proud to have been selected by LanzaJet to also lead fabrication of the plant. This is already underway, having begun in the first quarter of 2021, and we are on schedule for phased module delivery to be completed by end of 2022. This project represents a milestone for our company and working with the LanzaTech team has been great; their energy and commitment to their technology, and this project, is boundless. We are excited to be part of their journey.”