The US Air Force has partnered up with carbon transformation company Twelve to prove it is possible to make fuel from thin air.
Thanks to ground-breaking new technology known as carbon transformation, harmful CO2 emissions can be used to create useful materials and products, including jet fuel.
Twelve is a California-based chemical technology company that was endorsed by Air Force in 2020 to prove that its proprietary technology could convert CO2 into operationally viable aviation fuel referred to as E-Jet.
In August 2021, as part of the pilot program, the tech company was able to successfully make jet fuel from carbon dioxide, which allowed to set up the conditions necessary for the production of E-Jet in larger quantities. This first phase of the program is set to be completed by the end of this year.
Preliminary testing has shown that the technology is not only highly deployable but also scalable and with enormous potential for the US Air Force.
Essentially, Twelve’s system will provide warfigthers with unlimited access to fuel, wherever they are in the world.
Military operations depend strongly on reliable access to fuel and energy. And currently, the supply chain of fuel for warfighters involves a complex combination of various transport means, including trucks, ships and aircrafts, where many areas of operation have limited accessibility and may be difficult to reach.
If Twelve’s technology is scaled and made available in areas where fuel delivery is a challenge, it can help create fuel on-demand and provide a supplemental fuel source.
Twelve CEO and co-founder Nicholas Flanders described this act as ‘untethering aviation from petroleum supply chains’, as most synthetic fuels used today still rely on burning fossil energy sources like coal, biomass and natural gas.