Amadeus has acquired a minority stake Caphenia, which provides the synthesis gas feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The Germany-based company has developed a method to produce SAF in a more affordable and scalable way. Amadeus’s decision is part of a wider company commitment to support the industry on its journey toward sustainable travel.
Caphenia, currently in an advanced stage of development, has established its own approach to produce synthesis gas from a mixture of biogas, CO2, water and electricity. This can be used to produce a variety of renewable fuels, with up to a 92% reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the fossil reference value. The company has secured patent protection for its power-and-biogas-to-liquid (PBtL) process in all relevant core markets worldwide, with a total of 203 granted patents.
According to the IATA Net Zero Emission initiative, SAF has the potential to account for 65% of the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions required for the aviation industry to reach net zero by 2050. Technology is also a key component in contributing to the journey ahead, including electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft (13%), carbon offset and capture (19%) and operational efficiencies (three%).
To reach a 65% reduction in GHG emissions, it is estimated that a production capacity of 449 billion liters annually is needed globally. SAF production in 2021 stood at just 125 million liters – or less than 0.1% of the required estimated production capacity. Caphenia has plans to commence production next year and is forecasting production of 10 million liters of SAF by 2027, and planning to increase this to over 100 million liters by 2030 and over one billion liters before 2035.
Dr Mark Misselhorn, chief executive of Caphenia, said, “Our process is affordable – using one-sixth of the electricity needed for alternative SAF production methods – and scalable. We have the ambition to offer large-scale production by 2028, aiming to fill the gap between anticipated SAF demand and current supply. Sustainable aviation fuel is a practical long-term alternative to conventional aviation fuel for airlines. The technology of cost-effective, producible SAF means the greatest potential for CO2 savings and an important element that, in combination with others, may help in meeting net-zero targets.”
Suzanna Chiu, head of ventures at Amadeus, said, “At Amadeus, we are committed to supporting the move to sustainable travel. We monitor industry trends and developments to determine the most effective ways we can fulfil this ambition and are delighted to act today with the investment in an innovative SAF company. The transaction represents a step forward in our sustainability strategy, taking the perspective from a different part of the value chain in the industry. As the industry moves toward its goal of reaching net zero by 2050, we are taking concrete steps to accelerate the process.”
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