May 31, 2023 - Economy

Sustainable jet fuel maker CleanJoule raises $50 million

Illustration of descending plane with a dollar sign vapor trail

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

CleanJoule, a Salt Lake City-based developer of sustainable aviation fuels developed from agricultural residues and other waste biomass, raised $50 million from an investor group that included three airlines.

Why it matters: This reflects a growing aerospace sector belief that sustainable aviation fuels could become competitive with crude oil-based fuels, or at least part of a standard blend, in terms of both cost and performance.

  • Plus government incentives in the U.S. and Europe.

Details: Indigo Partners led the round, and was joined by Temasek's GenZero and existing backer Cleanhill Partners.

  • Also participating were Frontier Airlines, Wizz Air and Volaris — a consortium that also agreed to buy up to 90 million gallons of CleanJoule SAF.

More, per The NY Times: "While advances have been made in electric planes, battery weight remains a problem for large aircraft. Sustainable jet fuel is seen by many as the most promising way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation sector, which contributes more than 2% to global emissions each year."

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