Imagine a plane that’s flying around on jet fuel made from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. It’s not adding any new CO2 to the atmosphere, because the fuel is ideally coming from carbon dioxide that’s been captured from industrial processes and hydrogen made with renewable energy.
That promise is what’s behind $69 million in new funding from some very strategic investors for the startup company Infinium Holdings.
The company raised its new cash from investors led by NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (the largest renewable energy developer in the US), and Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also threw in some cash for the funding.
“The confidence our investment partners have placed in us reinforces the urgency we all feel to help mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change, and we are incredibly excited to bring electrofuels to market,” said Infinium’s chief executive Robert Schuetzle, in a statement.
The investment is part of a large push to reduce the emissions profile of heavily polluting sectors in the transportation industry.
Companies like ZeroAvia are turning to hydrogen as a fuel source to create zero-emission passenger vehicles. And others, like Wright Engine, are developing electric turbines for large passenger aircraft.
These investments are buttressed by billions of capital commitments into small-scale electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that are meant to replace medium-haul transportation in and around cities.
The funding for Infinium will be used to develop several facilities that can produce nearly 40 million gallons of fuels for commercial transportation.
“Amazon sees significant opportunity in Infinium’s Electrofuels technology, which has the potential to help decarbonize some of the key forms of transportation we use, including air, freight and heavy trucks,” said Amazon Vice President and Head of Worldwide Sustainability Kara Hurst, in a statement. “When Amazon created the $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, we designed it to help support the development of technologies and services that will enable us, as well as other companies, to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and achieve net-zero carbon by 2040.”
The company claims that each of its production facilities will mitigate more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere — which alone is the carbon offset equivalent of planting nearly 5 million tree seedlings that are each grown for 10 years.
“We’re excited about the potential to leverage renewable energy to produce low-carbon electrofuels that will help drive decarbonization of the transportation sector,” said John Ketchum, president and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Resources, in a statement. “This investment is consistent with our strategy to help lead the decarbonization of the transportation, electricity and industrial sectors in the U.S.”