Waste-to-fuel startup WasteFuel has launched WasteFuel Agriculture which will turn agricultural waste into low-carbon fuels including renewable natural gas and bio-methanol that can be used in land and sea transport with carbon footprints. significantly lower emissions than fossil fuels. The new effort offers farmers a way to manage their waste streams and reduce emissions.
In today’s Digest, the backstory, how big the waste problem is and how it will help, how it will help farmers, why you may have heard about it in fuel circles from sustainable aviation or maritime transport, and more.
California-based WasteFuel recognizes that managing waste in a simple, safe, and cost-effective manner is a persistent concern for farmers. It is also a problem on a global scale. WasteFuel points out that research has suggested that by 2030 the planet will produce at least 5 billion tonnes of manure every year, the vast majority coming from livestock. The mass of animal waste should have increased by 40% between 2003 and 2030.
According to the EPA, agriculture contributes 9.6% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and about 36% of methane emissions, mostly from livestock.
The magnitude of the waste problem
WasteFuel is committed to tackling the waste crisis and shared these key points highlighting the true extent of the waste problem today and in the future.
What WasteFuel Does About It
To address these issues, producers will be able to sell biogenic agricultural waste that would otherwise decompose and release methane and carbon dioxide to WasteFuel Agriculture. Using proven technologies, WasteFuel will convert agricultural waste into low-carbon fuels, including renewable natural gas and green methanol.
WasteFuel uses a combination of proven existing technologies including anaerobic digestion and new proprietary approaches to convert agricultural waste into low carbon fuels.
Compared to conventional fuels, WasteFuel aims for its fuels produced from agricultural waste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%. Importantly, WasteFuel Agriculture also provides farmers with a way to effectively manage their waste – whether from livestock or other crops – and helps them meet the needs of our communities and maintain stewardship of their land.
Trevor Neilson, co-founder, president and CEO of WasteFuel said, “At WasteFuel, we believe there is no waste, only potential fuel. WasteFuel Agriculture offers a solution to the growing agricultural waste problem that can help future-proof the environment. We are excited to be getting into the agricultural sector and look forward to working with farmers to reduce waste and emissions.
Investors, farmers, customers
On the “who else is involved?” On the other hand, WasteFuel has received investment from companies such as Maersk, NetJets, Prime Infrastructure and i(x) Net Zero and will now also work alongside farmers and their families to revolutionize mobility by air, land and maritime.
To make all of this happen, WasteFuel will work with farmers in California and the western and midwestern United States. They also work with waste owners outside of the United States – with their initial focus on the Americas and Asia. The location of the technology/biorefinery varies for each project as their goal is to minimize the amount of transportation needed throughout the process (from owner/waste location to buyer/fuel location).
Asked about customers, WasteFuel PR contact Abby Pick said she had nothing specific to announce at this time regarding marine industry customers purchasing marine fuels, but “we are in advanced conversation with partners and hope to hear more in the coming month NetJets, the world’s largest private aviation company, is a partner and investor and will purchase 100 million gallons of WasteFuel over the next ten years of our project in the Philippines that will convert municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel.
WasteFuel in the Shipping and Aviation Industries
Speaking of SAF and aviation, in February 2021, the Digest reported that NetJets had made a significant investment in WasteFuel, aimed at turning landfill waste into sustainable aviation fuel, making it the first company to private aviation to take an equity stake in the production of sustainable aviation fuel. . NetJets and WasteFuel are in the early stages of developing a plant in Manila, Philippines, which is expected to be operational in 2025, in partnership with leading infrastructure developer Prime Infra. The fuel is expected to be imported into Los Angeles and distributed over NetJets’ operating network.
On the shipping side, earlier this year in January, The Digest reported that WasteFuel launched WasteFuel Marine, a renewable fuel solution for the shipping industry. WasteFuel Marine’s initial product will be bio-methanol for container ships. WasteFuel aims for its marine fuels to reduce CO2 emissions by 95% and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional fuels.
In September 2021, The Digest reported that three weeks after announcing an e-methanol supply deal in Europe, AP Moller – Maersk had invested in WasteFuel. Maersk’s investment was to enable WasteFuel to develop biorefineries that use the most efficient technologies available to produce sustainable fuels from unrecoverable waste that would otherwise degrade and release methane and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Maersk is convinced that green bio-methanol is one of the promising fuels of the future, as it can be scaled up and play an important role in decarbonizing supply chains over the next 10-15 years.
While those announcements focused on the sustainable offtake/fuel solution for shipping, aviation and enterprise, this latest announcement focuses on securing raw materials and waste management. WasteFuel will convert agricultural waste into RNG and methanol which can be used in a variety of ways including fueling shipping/ships and fueling cargo trucks, and that’s pretty exciting news all around.