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United to Purchase Up To One Billion Gallons of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Portrait of the Gambler’s Fallacy

Houston, Texas-based clean technology concern Cemvita Corporation announced that it had entered into an offtake agreement with United Airlines by which the Chicago-based air-carrier will purchase up to one-billion-gallons of so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from Cemvita’s first full-scale SAF plant.

Per the agreement’s provisions, Cemvita will annually supply United Airlines up to fifty-million-gallons of its CO2-derivative SAF for twenty-years.

United Airlines Ventures president Michael Leskinen stated: “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. 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.”

Commercial SAF is currently made from feed-stocks, agricultural and municipal wastes, and used cooking oils. Cemvita contends its technology is capable of providing more reliable feedstock production with diminished expenditures of finite land, water, and electrical resources. The company further claims the output of its eCO2 plants has the potential to be carbon-negative. Cemvita aspires to maintain cost-competitiveness with extant crop-based HEFA feedstocks and fuels—a key prerequisite to the successful adoption of new biomanufacturing processes.

HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids), also called HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil), is a renewable diesel fuel produced from an array of vegetable oils and fats.

Cemvita CEO Moji Karimi set forth: “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.”

Mr. Karimi added: “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 commercialization.”

United Airlines has pursued strategic investments in SAF producers and new-fangled technologies the likes of carbon capture, hydrogen-electric engines, electric regional aircraft, and air taxis. In 2023, United launched its UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle intended to leverage support from cross-industry businesses to sustain start-ups focused on decarbonizing air travel through SAF research, technology, and production. Cemvita was named among the fund’s inaugural group of portfolio companies.

United’s investments in SAF, to date, surpass those of the whole of its competitors.

FMI: www.cemvita.com

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