1) Airlines account for 3% of the U.S.’s GHG emissions and 2% of the world’s GHG emissions. Airlines are increasingly under pressure to reduce carbon emissions, but the development of sustainable, affordable biofuels has been a challenge.
2) Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. has developed a proprietary thermochemical process that converts municipal solid waste, or MSW, feedstock into low-carbon renewable transportation fuels including jet fuel and diesel.
- Fulcrum will extract commercially recyclable material and inorganic waste from the MSW, then send MSW feedstock to the Biorefinery.
- Gasification of the MSW feedstock produces a synthesis gas (syngas) consisting primarily of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which is purified and processed through the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process to produce a syncrude product which is then upgraded to jet fuel.
- The fuel will qualify as an “Advanced Biofuel”- independent analysis shows a net lifecycle reduction in CO2 emissions of over 80% vs. petroleum fuels.
- United Airlines’ $30 million equity investment in Fulcrum is the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels.
3) Organizational stakeholders: United Airlines, other domestic and international airlines, governments who will support biofuels development, environmental groups
4) Steps to deploying the technology:
- Focus on first phase with United – complete joint testing
- Increase production to deliver 90 million gallons per year to United as agreed
- Proceed with option for joint development of up to 5 projects near United’s hubs that could produce up to 180 million gallons of fuel per year