e-SAF startup Metafuels raises $8m


Zurich-based aviation tech startup Metafuels announced that it has successfully raised its first institutional funding round of $8m, led by Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and Contrarian Ventures.

The startup plans to use the proceeds to set up a pilot facility at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI).

Metafuels’ eSAF technology uses a proprietary process to convert green methanol (from green hydrogen and sustainably-sourced carbon dioxide) to eSAF, which the company has branded as aerobrew.

“Jetfuel … has to operate in very varied environments from take-off to cruising altitude in all types of weather conditions while delivering high mission performance. There is currently no process to go beyond a 50% SAF blend, which is the current aerobrew target.” Hackett adds: “Though that will evolve over time,” says Leigh Hackett, chairman, Metafuels.

Metafuels claims its approach to produce SAF achieves the lowest cost of production through high efficiency and ultra-high yield of SAF. It said that its technology has high environmental performance—through an up to 90% reduction of life cycle emissions and not chipping away at food and feed supply chains.

“Metafuels’ expertise and engineering offer a pivotal opportunity to revolutionize sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technology at a crucial time,” says Ashwin Shashindranath, partner, Energy Impact Partners. “SAF solutions like Metafuels are essential for a seamless transition to greener travel methods without altering people’s flying habits, while also ensuring sustainability.”

Earlier this year, the startup announced a partnership with European Energy A/S  to develop a SAF production plant in Denmark using its aerobrew process.

The plant will be installed at one of European Energy’s current Power-to-X-sites in Denmark where European Energy plans to implement a power-to-methanol (e-methanol) production facility. Once installed, the plant will produce around 10,000 l/d of synthetic e-SAF, marking a major step in the scale up of the technology.