Sustainable jet fuel plant in operation for LanzaJet, Marquis Illinois

LanzaJet is commercializing technology that produces ethanol-based jet fuel that reduces greenhouse gases by 70% without requiring modifications to aircraft engines. It’s a Skokie-based LanzaTech spin-off. LanzaJet’s investors include British Airways.

Airlines are striving to reduce pollution and their appetite for sustainable fuel continues to grow. Some, like Chicago-based United Airlines, have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, eliminating their greenhouse gas emissions.

Marquis Energy, founded in 2005, produces approximately 400 million gallons of ethanol per year from corn at its existing Hennepin biorefinery near highways 80 and 39. The site also includes carbon sequestration capacity of more than 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which further reduces the environmental impact of the facility.

“This is an exceptional opportunity with a great partner, a great location and a great distribution channel to airports,” said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of Deerfield-based LanzaJet.

LanzaJet is already building its first US plant to produce aviation fuel at a biorefinery in Soperton, Georgia. Production is expected to start next year. The new facility at Hennepin will have more than 10 times the production. It is expected to be completed in 2025. The companies did not disclose the cost of the project.

“This demonstrates the potential for the United States to produce significant volumes of sustainable aviation fuel at scale, by shifting feedstock from traditional biofuel production to sustainable aviation fuel,” Samartzis said in a statement.

LanzaJet plans to produce 1 billion gallons of sustainable jet fuel per year by 2030.

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