The agreement forms the basis of a long-term cooperation between the two companies for the industrial-scale production of crude algae suitable for conversion into aviation kerosene and conventional diesel fuels.
The size and cost of the plant was not released. The plant will be located in Europe, near an industrial source of carbon dioxide emissions, which is used as a feedstock for the algae.
Under the agreement, Lufthansa will finance the project. Algae Tec, which will manage the facility, will receive license fees and profits from the project. Lufthansa has agreed to buy at least 50 percent of the crude oil produced at the plant.
Algae produced at the facility will fulfill the EU Renewable Energy Directive and will be certified according to the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification Standard, Algae Tec said.
Algae Tec opened an algae-to-biofuels facility in New South Wales, Australia in August.
The company’s technology captures carbon dioxide from nearby industrial sources and uses it to produce algae-based crude oil. The carbon dioxide, which can be captured from industrial emitters, such as power plants, is fed into the algae growth system. The algae is eventually converted into jet fuel and biodiesel.
In January, Lufthansa said it was ending trials using biofuels to power flights because it could not find reliable supplies. The final flight in the program January 12 was the company’s first biofuel-powered transatlantic flight.
During Lufthansa’s six-month trial, 1,187 biofuel flights were operated between Hamburg and Frankfurt. The airline’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 1,471 metric tons and total consumption of the biokerosene mix it used amounted to 1,556 metric tons.
The biosynthetic kerosene used during the trials was just as reliable as conventional jet fuel but emitted 50 percent less CO2 than conventional fossil fuels, Lufthansa said.