Berkeley, California-based carbon transformation company Twelve and Tulsa-based Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) today announced that they have produced the first fossil-free jet fuel from carbon dioxide using an electrochemical process. The project received funding from the US Air Force.
The new biofuel, which is called E-Jet, can be used by both commercial and military aviation.
Biofuels are notoriously expensive. But where many processes have proven the ability to yield 65% of jet fuel from initial feedstock, EFT says its process yields more than 80%. EFT has also signed a licensing agreement with Norwegian company Nordic Electrofuel, which also makes fossil-replacement fuels.
Twelve and EFT state that fossil-free jet fuel E-Jet is a drop-in replacement for petrochemical-based alternatives, and no changes are required to existing plane design or commercial regulations.
Twelve summarizes how E-Jet is made on its website:
E-Jet is made with our carbon transformation technology, a new electrochemical reactor and proprietary catalyst that electrifies CO2 and water, which creates synthesis gas, CO + H2, which we then refine into carbon neutral jet fuel.
E-Jet is drop-in ready and certified, with the same quality and performance, but has over 90% lower lifecycle emissions. That’s because we source the carbon in our fuel from the air, not the ground — and, because it has fewer contaminants than petroleum-based fuels, it burns cleaner.
In summer 2021, the US Air Force tested and qualified our E-Jet product.
Twelve and EFT worked in partnership with the US Air Force’s Operational Energy office through a joint contract with AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Roberto Guerrero, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Operational Energy, said:
One of our main goals with this project was to create a clean jet fuel that enhances security and energy independence without sacrificing operational readiness. The successful completion of the project proves that efficiency and environmental responsibility are not mutually exclusive.