Infinium and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst (Catalyst) are making a $75 million project equity investment commitment for Infinium’s Project Roadrunner, which will convert waste carbon dioxide and renewable power into low-carbon fuels.
The project includes a commercial-scale power-to-liquids eFuels, or electrofuels, facility located in West Texas, and will convert an existing brownfield gas-to-liquids project. Infinium eSAF, a sustainable aviation fuel that may reduce airline emissions by around 90%, will be the main product made in the new facility. The facility will also produce Infinium eNaphtha for plastics manufacturing and Infinium eDeisel for hard-to-electrify transportation, such as trucking and shipping.
Along with Catalyst’s new investment, American Airlines has entered an offtake agreement with Infinium for the company’s eSAF product. Citi and American Airlines have also both agreed to support the technology, partially to reduce Citi’s Scope 3 emissions from employee travel.
“The investment from Catalyst is critical to accelerating the completion of Project Roadrunner and to the delivery of significant volumes of eFuels created from waste carbon dioxide and renewable power,” said Robert Schuetzle, CEO at Infinium. “Importantly, this project will serve as a template for other, larger eFuels plants under development. The groundbreaking commercial agreement with American is an important prototype for the aviation industry as its firm offtake agreement supports project financing, providing revenue certainty for the project.”
Electrofuels are a Key Decarbonization Tool for Shipping, Air Transportation
The investment in Project Roadrunner arrives amidst urgent demand for alternative fuels, especially for maritime shipping and air travel.
Alternative fuels are considered the most viable decarbonization strategy for both sectors, especially as they present a drop-in alternative to petroleum-based fuels and don’t require changes to preexisting vehicles. SAF has already been used to help lower air travel emissions by a number of airlines. Virgin Atlantic also recently completed the first commercial-scale transatlantic flight run completely on the alternative fuel, but the fuel only represents about 0.01% of jet fuel used overall.
Although a proven alternative to fossil fuel-based fuels, most eFuels remain costly, largely because they are not produced yet at scale. The creation of this facility and others like it may mark a promising step for making future decarbonization in these industries possible.
Infinium currently has over a dozen global projects in development in the United States, European Union, Japan, and Australia. The company said its eFuels both reduce emissions when used and are able to make use of existing carbon-based pollutants. For example, its Pathfinder project in Corpus Christi, Texas, uses carbon dioxide waste from Howard Energy Partners’ facility as a feedstock for its electrofuels.