Last Tuesday, carbon transformation technology company Twelve announced that it has produced the world’s first “fossil free” jet fuel, which it is calling “E-Jet.” The sustainable fuel is approved for long-haul flights and is suited for both commercial and military applications.
Aviation is responsible for 2.5% of carbon dioxide emissions globally. The sector’s emissions are among the hardest to abate as current electrification technology cannot accommodate long flights due to energy density issues.
Twelve’s devised solution is producing jet fuel “from air, not oil.” More specifically, it captures carbon dioxide from an emissions source and electrolyzes it using water and renewably generated electricity. The product is synthetic gas, or “syngas,” which consists of carbon monoxide and hydrogen and is used in aviation and as an industrial fuel and feedstock. The production process entails zero pollution: its only byproduct is oxygen. Twelve reported that E-Jet “reduces overall lifecycle emissions by 90% with zero changes needed to existing planes,” meaning it can go right into existing fuel tanks.
E-jet was produced with the help of industry partner Emerging Fuels Technology with funding from the U.S. Air Force. Commenting on the collaboration, Roberto Guerrero, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Operational Energy stated,
“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.”
This development comes at a time when the aviation industry is working to neutralize its emissions: in April, the trade association Airlines for America, which includes members such as Delta, United, and FedEx, committed to working with the aviation industry and the government to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.