Granholm, Ossoff visit LanzaTech innovation hub, plant site

By LanzaTech | October 13, 2021

LanzaTech and LanzaJet welcomed Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm and Senator Jon Ossoff to the Freedom Pines Biorefinery in Soperton, Georgia.

The site is a center of research, development and scale-up for LanzaTech’s commercial carbon capture and utilization technology with a specialized biomanufacturing center producing the “secret sauce” that is shipped from the United States to commercial partners around the world.

LanzaTech has scaled and demonstrated multiple technologies at the site in partnership with the Department of Energy, DOE’s National Laboratories, and several industrial partners, including piloting a next generation bioreactor, making chemicals, and converting ethanol made from recycled waste gases into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This “recycled carbon” SAF was used on October 2, 2018 on a world first transatlantic flight from Orlando to London with Virgin Atlantic.

With the support from the Department of Energy, the site in Soperton has become a sustainable innovation hub, leveraging local talent to support domestic energy security and meet climate goals. Today, products can be found on store shelves manufactured with these technologies, including household cleaners and laundry detergents, packaging and soon textiles and fragrances.

As part of President Biden’s climate agenda, his Administration recently announced the Sustainable Aviation Grand Challenge, an ambitious commitment involving several federal departments and agencies to scale up production of SAF to 3 billion gallons per year by 2030. LanzaTech and LanzaJet pledged to produce a combined 1 billion gallons of SAF in the U.S. by 2030.

The first step will be a first-of-a-kind SAF facility called Freedom Pines Fuels, in Soperton. Producing 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel per year from sustainably sourced ethanol from rural communities, the facility will use LanzaJet’s Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) technology, developed with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. There are also plans to install solar power production to provide renewable electricity to the entire site for all operations.

The ethanol sourced will be complemented by the ethanol produced from a pre-pilot facility utilizing CO2 and renewable hydrogen being built at the site.  This facility, which is also co-funded by the DOE, will demonstrate a potentially limitless supply of sustainable feedstocks for domestic SAF and diesel production right in the heart of Georgia. Argonne National Lab will be a life cycle assessment partner.

Suncor, British Airways, Boeing, Alaska Airlines, and All Nippon Airways have already made commitments to purchase and use all the SAF and renewable diesel produced at this site.

The Soperton site currently employs over 30 people and continues to attract talent from the surrounding counties. It was recognized by the Heart of Georgia Transition Alliance, in 2019, for their support in employing individuals with vocational disabilities.

With the support of the DOE, the new Freedom Pines Fuels plant, which is in the late stages of development, will create an additional 30 permanent clean tech jobs and 200+ construction and engineering jobs.

Such public and private sector partnerships are essential for rapidly transitioning to a cleaner economy, in line with President Biden’s ambitious climate objectives.

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, said:

“We are grateful to President Biden, Secretary Granholm and Senator Ossoff for their commitment to a carbon-smart economy and partnering with the private sector to drive innovation. LanzaTech’s Biorefinery and LanzaJet’s ATJ plant show how public private partnerships can support scale up throughout America, including rural communities like Soperton.”

“If we are to meet our goals in mitigating the climate crisis, the private sector often needs government partnerships to accelerate technology from initial R&D to full-scale production and deployment, and that is what we are doing today with Secretary Granholm.”

“Soperton, Treutlen County, and rural communities like these also have a critical role to play in addressing climate change. They offer a rich supply of agricultural, and forestry wastes along with a large supply of renewable power for producing hydrogen, which are key feedstocks for LanzaTech’s gas fermentation process. With these key ingredients for our fermentation process, we will replace fossil fuels in the production of ethanol, SAF, chemicals, and other products we use in our daily lives, from right here in Middle Georgia.”

“We appreciate Sen. Ossoff’s leadership in working to ensure this project becomes the model of American innovation and how rural communities can seize one of our greatest global challenges, to create jobs and new market opportunities for sustainable economic growth. We also are grateful for the bipartisan support from local, state, and federal officials to help transform the Freedom Pines facility into a hub of innovation.”

“In making the transition to a carbon smart economy, it is vital to obtain bipartisan support for a plan that will create jobs and change the economies of our local communities. We are grateful to have Rep. Allen’s longstanding support and Sen. Warlock’s advocacy as an original cosponsor of the Sustainable Skies Act (S. 2263) that will help expedite the aviation industry’s transition to sustainable fuel.”

Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm, Department of Energy, said:

“LanzaTech is exactly the kind of innovation we need to slash emissions from tough-to-decarbonize industries like aviation. This site is what President Biden envisions in every pocket of the country through the Build Back Better Agenda.”

U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff said:

“Thank you to the team at LanzaTech and LanzaJet for your innovation, your investment in Georgia and hospitality. I believe Georgia should lead the nation in clean energy and renewable energy technology, and now LanzaTech and LanzaJet are leading the world in sustainable aviation fuel.”

Jimmy Samartzis, LanzaJet CEO, said:

“It’s clear that our global community must take action today to decarbonize society. The US is leading the way as an example of the effort required across the public and private sectors to innovate and build new industries to help our country and our global society transition to sustainable growth, sustainable travel, and a sustainable economy. President Biden, his Administration, and the US Congress have made decarbonizing aviation a priority. Today’s visit by Secretary of Energy Granholm and Senator Ossoff represents the joint work required across the executive and legislative branches, and in collaboration with the private sector. At LanzaJet, we’re committed to enabling the production of 1 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel in the US by 2030 which will enable local and national economic growth and international leadership in addressing climate change.