Introducing CirculAir: A New Pathway for Sustainable Aviation Fuel from LanzaJet and LanzaTech

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By Jimmy Samartzis, Chief Executive Officer, LanzaJet

As Chief Executive Officer of LanzaJet, two of the most frequent questions I get asked are: What is LanzaJet’s relationship with LanzaTech?” and Why pursue the Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) pathway over all the others?” These two questions are crucial to understanding LanzaJet’s approach and the innovative solutions we bring to the Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) market. Today, I am excited to introduce a new integrated offering from LanzaJet and LanzaTech, CirculAir™, which addresses both questions and demonstrates why our approach is a viable and compelling alternative to other SAF pathways.

LanzaJet’s journey is intrinsically connected to LanzaTech’s pioneering work. LanzaTech began developing our ATJ technology in 2010, and although LanzaJet has since become an independent company (we spun out of LanzaTech as a standalone company in 2020), our collaborative relationship continues to thrive. We frequently partner on projects, leveraging our complementary technologies and expertise to drive the sustainable fuels industry forward. The launch of CirculAir, our new integrated solution, represents both a new dynamic in our partnership and a continuation of our long-standing collaboration. 

CirculAir combines the groundbreaking technologies of LanzaJet and LanzaTech to create a seamless process for converting waste carbon into SAF. It starts with LanzaTech’s gas fermentation technology, which efficiently converts waste carbon, such as solid waste and recycled carbon, into ethanol. This process uses microbes to transform carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals, like ethanol. LanzaJet then takes this ethanol and converts it into SAF using our advanced ATJ technology. By integrating the two technologies, CirculAir offers a scalable end-to-end solution, applicable to every country and industry.

The strength of CirculAir lies in its flexibility and efficiency. LanzaTech’s process can handle a wide range of feedstocks, including municipal solid waste, industrial offgases, renewable power, and even CO2 in the air, converting them into ethanol without the need for extensive processing. This flexibility allows us to adapt to various waste resources available in different regions, ensuring a consistent and reliable supply of feedstock. Once the ethanol is produced, LanzaJet’s ATJ technology takes over, transforming it into high-quality, drop-in SAF. Our process retains nearly all the energy in the ethanol molecule and results in a higher density in the finished SAF product. This means airlines can travel the same distance using less fuel, presenting a unique value proposition. Further, CirculAir is less capital-intensive than other pathways and has minimal waste, making it an economically attractive option. Our process of converting ethanol to SAF is already approved as a pathway by ASTM, which we achieved in 2018, so CirculAir does not require any further approvals and is a ready solution today.

The versatility of our approach means we can use the same feedstocks as those used in other SAF pathways, such as Fischer-Tropsch, Power-to-Liquid, and Waste-to-Fuels, while achieving the same end result: SAF. This capability allows us to offer an efficient and sustainable alternative to these pathways. As someone who has been involved in the first HEFA plant and early Fischer-Tropsch investments, I can confidently say that the ethanol-to-SAF pathway has a distinct advantage. It can utilize existing ethanol supplies while also having the capability to convert a wide range of untapped feedstocks into SAF. This efficiency and versatility underscore the strength of the LanzaJet-LanzaTech joint offering.

At LanzaJet, we believe that the future of sustainable fuels is now. Our slogan – Someday is now” – reflects our commitment to immediate action. By joining forces with LanzaTech on CirculAir, we are presenting a powerful solution to the market that can be deployed today. We no longer have the luxury of waiting; the time to act is now. We are confident that CirculAir will accelerate the deployment of SAF projects around the world and lead the way in transforming waste into valuable, sustainable fuels, creating a lasting impact on the aviation industry and the environment. 

If you’re interested in learning more about CirculAir and exploring a SAF project, please fill out our Contact Form and visit us at www​.lanzajet​.com/​c​i​r​c​ulair. Also, listen to my recent appearance on the CarbonSmart podcast with LanzaTech Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Holmgren.