Rubbish is about to take off, thanks to BP’s interest in turning household waste into low carbon jet fuel. The chemical process behind the technology that can turn rotting organic matter into liquid fuels has been around 100 years. But, recent developments, including the use of ‘clever baked beans cans’, have transformed its commercial potential, leading BP-backed US start-up Fulcrum Bioenergy to use it to produce biojet fuel.
Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. and United Airlines, Inc. announced that United Airlines has invested $30 million in Fulcrum and will have the option to directly participate in Fulcrum’s waste-to-jet fuel plants across North America.
Fulcrum BioEnergy has awarded a $200 million fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) contract to Abengoa for the construction of Fulcrum’s first municipal solid waste (“MSW”) to transportation fuels facility, the Sierra BioFuels Plant. The Sierra BioFuels Plant will utilize Fulcrum’s process for converting everyday household garbage that would otherwise be landfilled, into renewable syncrude that will be upgraded to jet fuel.
Cathay Pacific Airways announced a strategic investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, and negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum for an initial 375 million US gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over 10 years (representing on an annual basis approximately 2% of the airline’s current fuel consumption) that meets all the airline’s technical requirements and specifications.
Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. announced last Wednesday that it has successfully demonstrated the conversion of municipal solid waste (“MSW”) – household garbage – into jet and diesel fuels. This demonstrated process adds fuel diversity to Fulcrum’s products and complements its previously demonstrated MSW to ethanol process. Fulcrum’s ability to produce drop-in fuels from MSW opens up an 80 billion gallon per year fuel market and expands its customer base for its national development program.
“Fuel diversity adds an integral component to our innovative business plan, creating a platform to offer customers the product they want, in the market they want. Our process is now capable of producing jet fuel, diesel and ethanol from residential garbage that would otherwise be landfilled,” said E. James Macias, Fulcrum’s President and Chief Executive Officer.