In order to cut down costs on SAF-(Synthetic Aviation Fuel ) Saudi-based Aramco, Italy’s ENI, have joined the world’s largest passenger carrier United Airlines to invest in British start-up OXCCU to commercialise its cost-effective sustainable aviation fuel.
As per the statement, the $22.7 million investment led by U.S.-based investor Clean Energy Ventures has received Series A financing from the above companies. The other firms also participating in the investment include United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund SM and Braavos Capital, alongside existing investors Kiko Ventures and the University of Oxford. Trafigura, TechEnergy Ventures and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures.
OXCCU is a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, which says that it can convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into hydrocarbons with high conversion and selectivity for use as fuels, chemicals and plastics. The company is also amongst one of the companies that have been researching to find a substitute for kerosene and gasoline in plane engines.
OXCCU informed that it can make SAF and other sustainable fuels by combining carbon dioxide captured from industry or power plants with hydrogen made using power generated from renewable sources.
OXEFUEL is “a more cost-effective and decarbonised alternative to fossil-based jet fuel for commercial airlines”, the company claimed in its statement. “Streamlining the process in this way knocks 50% off the capital cost and produces fewer byproducts,” the firm pointed out in a statement.
“This cutting-edge solution could be a cost-effective pathway for United to reach our commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets,” said United Airlines Ventures President Michael Leskinen.
“Airlines have consistently maintained that the cost competitiveness of SAF is their biggest barrier to adoption, and based on projected renewable energy costs in key production locations, OXCCU’s technology can achieve cost parity.This breakthrough is exactly what we need to turn the emerging SAF market into reality and cost-effectively cut carbon emissions from fuel production at scale,” said Daniel Goldman, Co-founder and Managing Partner of OXCCU investor Clean Energy Ventures.
“OXCCU’s process is unique in the emerging SAF industry based on our evaluation of dozens of technologies. We see extraordinary potential for this technology to mitigate new aviation fuel production emissions at gigaton-scale in the near-future,” he informed.
OXCCU CEO Andrew Symes added, “We’ve built an extraordinary team of senior scientists, engineers and operators, and now backed by this experienced group of investors, we are confident we can scale this technology into a cost-competitive and globally deployable solution to create a sustainable drop-in product for the global aviation market.”
The firm further explained, “Its process can also produce other synthetic petrochemicals, such as lubricants and surfactants, and the company is also planning to use its technology to make fossil-free plastics.”
It is reported that aviation produces around 2% of the world’s planet-warming emissions and the sector’s own targets to emit no more than can be absorbed by natural sinks like forests or other technologies by 2050 pose a particularly big challenge.