United invests $5 million in algae-based Fuel producer Viridos

March 15, 2023 |

In Illinois, United said it aims to boost SAF production through the investment of $5 million in algae biofuel company Viridos. The airline said this new investment will support the production of sustainable aviation fuel made from algae, an abundant and scalable resource that can be grown and harvested without impacting the food supply chain. Viridos specializes in the bioengineering of microalgae and its proprietary technology accelerates the amount of oil that can be produced from microalgae. This algae oil could then be used to scale the future production of SAF, United said. “SAF is proven, scalable, and the best tool we have to reduce our carbon emissions from flying, but we face a significant shortage of available feedstock,” said United Airlines Ventures President Mike Leskinen. “Viridos’ algae-based biofuel technology has the potential to help solve our supply problem without the need for farmland or other agricultural resources and marks our inaugural investment in our new cross-industry UAV Sustainable Flight Fund.” Based on current estimates, SAF created by Viridos’ algae oil is expected to have a 70% reduced carbon footprint on a lifecycle basis when compared to traditional jet fuel, the company said. The UAV Sustainable Flight Fund is an investment vehicle that is designed to leverage support from cross-industry businesses in order to support start-ups focused on decarbonizing air travel through SAF research, technology and production. The fund is starting with more than $100 million in investments from United and inaugural corporate partners Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase and Honeywell.

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Category: SAF

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