The $50 million investment in CleanJoule, a startup based in the United States that specializes in the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), has been supported by GenZero, a decarbonization-focused investment platform company of Temasek with headquarters in Singapore.
According to a statement released by CleanJoule on Wednesday, the principals of the American private equity firm Indigo Partners led the investment round.
Three airlines—U.S.-based Frontier Airlines, European-based Wizz Air, and Mexican-based Volaris—as well as Cleanhill Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm with a decarbonization focus, also participated in the round.
According to CleanJoule, the money raised in the round will help the company continue to develop its technology to more efficiently produce high-performance SAF from agricultural waste and other types of waste biomass.
“The aviation industry presents a key frontier in carbon emissions mitigation. There has never been a more crucial time for us to lead the change than through viable sustainable fuel alternatives,” said Mukund Karanjikar, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CleanJoule.
“As we advance on the commercialization of our fuel technology, CleanJoule is well-positioned to scale the supply of SAFs in the market and shorten the runway in the transition towards a greener aviation industry,
“We are proud to have the support of our new investor partners, who not only share our mission but who have chosen to place their capital and trust in us to drive the transformation of global aviation,” he added.
The funding round represents a significant turning point in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and implement effective climate change measures.
According to the International Air Transport Association, SAF, a biofuel used to power commercial aircraft but with a lower carbon footprint, could potentially contribute up to 65 percent of the reduction in emissions required by the aviation sector to reach net zero in 2050.
In comparison to conventional jet fuel, SAF can significantly reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions depending on the feedstock and technologies used to produce it.
Frontier Airlines, Wizz Air, and Volaris have made legally binding commitments to buy up to 90 million gallons of SAF as part of the consortium’s investment.
Additionally, the founders of Indigo Partners will be given a seat on the board of directors of CleanJoule.
“Decarbonizing aviation requires solutions that can be adopted at scale. CleanJoule’s fuel technology relies on widely available feedstock – agricultural waste – to produce a sustainable biofuel that could be cost-effective at scale with better fuel economy,” said Frederick Teo, chief executive officer of GenZero.