Defense Innovation Unit and US Air Force awards up to $65m SAF contract to Air Company
Air Company has received a contract worth up to $65m from the US Air Force and Department of Defense to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
The US Air Force is looking at ways of producing SAF at individual air bases around the world. It has named the contract project Project SynCE – standing for Synthetic Fuels for the Contested Environment.
The contract was awarded by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the United States Air Force (USAF), the Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund (OECIF). It also involved the Department of Energy (DoE) and the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Engineers
“We have an incredible opportunity to reduce our burden on global energy supply chains, and simultaneously reduce emissions, without sacrificing mission effectiveness,” said USAF Lieutenant Colonel Nicole Pearl, who is the operational lead for Project SynCE. “By developing and deploying on-site fuel production technology, our Joint Force will be more resilient and sustainable. Together with the DoE and the commercial industry, we’re working towards revolutionary energy solutions that benefit not just the military, but our society as a whole.”
The US Department of Defense says that fuel logistics are both complex and also vulnerable to attack. It believes that small-scale, synthetic fuel production systems could be used at fixed bases and forward operating locations. It is also keen to remove greenhouse gas emissions.
Air Company raised $30m in Series A funding in April 2022. The funding was led by Carbon Direct Capital Management with Toyota Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Parley for the Oceans joining. It raised $8.5m in funding in 2020. It was also awarded $50,000 by NASA in August 2021 for demonstrating how carbon dioxide could be converted into sugars.
Air Company first demonstrated its carbon capture technology by making vodka and perfume.
Pictured: Air Company’s Co-founders Gregory Constantine, Co-Founder and CEO, Air Company and Dr. Stafford Sheehan, Co-Founder & CTO