Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Funds World’s First Alcohol Jet Fuel Plant

By Nick Hedley

Breakthrough Energy, which Bill Gates founded in 2015 to fund climate solutions, will donate $50 million towards the world’s first alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel plant.

The facility, by LanzaJet, is in Soperton, Ga., and is expected to be operational in 2023. Relative to fossil-based jet fuel, its fuels will reduce emissions by at least 70%, according to a statement by Bank of America, a founding partner of Breakthrough Energy.

The plant is expected to produce 9 million gallons of aviation fuel and 1 million gallons of renewable diesel annually.

“First-of-a-kind projects for emerging technologies often struggle to access low-cost capital because they have high green premiums and frequently face unforeseen challenges and costs, especially in the current inflationary environment,” the companies said in the statement.

The grant will also help create a new market for scalable, low-carbon ethanol from sustainable sources by transitioning to second-generation ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks, over time.

“Breakthrough Energy Catalyst is a new way for the private sector to accelerate the clean energy transition by funding projects that will ensure essential climate solutions get to market on the timeline the world needs,” said Rodi Guidero, executive director at Breakthrough Energy and managing partner at Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

“LanzaJet’s new sustainable aviation fuel plant could play a vital role in decarbonizing aviation while demonstrating how the jobs and businesses of the clean energy economy can power communities.”