Air Force signs $65M deal with startup to test ‘sustainable’ fuel production
The startup Air Company announced Tuesday that it had won a contract from the Department of Defense Innovation Unit and the U.S. Air Force for its AIRMADE “sustainable” aviation fuel.
“This will enable the production of on-site fuel, reducing emissions [and] offering a safe fuel source,” the company said on Twitter.
The $65 million deal for testing production comes after Air Company CEO Gregory Constantine told Axios action was taken following a successful jet test flight last year than ran solely on unblended sustainable aviation fuel.
The contract will allow Air Company to test whether it can make that fuel in remote locations and it includes certain milestones related to the number of gallons Air Company will produce.
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Air Company makes the sustainable aviation fuel from carbon dioxide pulled out of the atmosphere. The startup also turns carbon into perfume and hand sanitizer.
“The contract is tiered out over the next several years,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch, noting that Air Company aims to work with the Air Force to produce “tens of hundreds of gallons,” and later “tens of thousands of gallons,” of jet fuel.
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The company told the website that it exclusively uses renewable electricity to produce its fuel, which the Air Force Research Laboratory said was “net carbon neutral” in a November release.
The Air Force’s Project Fierce previously partnered with the laboratory, Air Company and the Hsu Education Foundation to create and test a fully synthetic “drop-in” replacement jet fuel from captured carbon dioxide and water. The unmanned flight test team at the Hsu Educational Foundation executed the first flight demonstration with the synthetic jet fuel.
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The Air Force has used sustainable aviation fuels – that require blending with traditional fossil fuels – since 2008.
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