United signs agreement with Cemvita for 1bn gallons SAF

Cemvita designs synthetic microbes that have potential to convert CO2 into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

United signs agreement with Cemvita for 1bn gallons SAF
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Cemvita has announced an offtake arrangement with United Airlines for up to one billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Under the agreement, Cemvita will supply United Airlines with up to 50 million gallons of SAF made from CO2 annually for 20 years.

“Since our initial investment last year, Cemvita has made outstanding progress, including opening their new pilot plant – an important step towards producing sustainable aviation fuel,” says Michael Leskinen, President, United Airlines Ventures. “United is the global aviation leader in SAF production investment but we face a real shortage of available fuel and producers. Cemvita’s technology represents a path forward for a potentially significant supply of SAF and it’s our hope that this offtake agreement for up to one billion gallons is just the beginning of our collaboration.”

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Moji Karimi, CEO, Cemvita adds: “Biology is capable of truly amazing things. Our team of passionate, pioneering, and persistent scientists and engineers are on a mission to create sustainable BioSolutions that redefine possibilities. We are thrilled to partner with United Airlines in working towards transforming the aviation industry and accelerating the energy transition. This agreement featuring our unique SAF platform is a major milestone towards demonstrating our journey to full commercialisation.”

Commercialised SAF is currently made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, the release said. "Cemvita's technology has the potential to provide more reliable feedstock production with minimal land, water, and electricity needs. Furthermore, the output of eCO2 plants has the potential to be carbon-negative and Cemvita is aiming to be cost competitive with existing crop based HEFA feedstocks and fuels, which is a crucial factor for the successful adoption of any new biomanufacturing process."

United launched its UAV Sustainable Flight FundSM, a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle that is designed to leverage support from cross-industry businesses to support start-ups focused on decarbonising air travel through SAF research, technology, and production. Cemvita was announced as part of the fund’s inaugural group of portfolio companies. United has invested in more SAF production than any other airline globally, the release added.

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