Funding

[Funding alert] Zurich-based Climate Tech Metafuels Secures €7.4 Million in Funding

Dec 13, 2023 | By Startup Rise EU

Zurich-based climate tech Metafuels secures €7.4 million in funding. This round was led by prominent climate VCs Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and Contrarian Ventures.

Zurich-based climate tech Metafuels secures €7.4 million in funding. This round was led by prominent climate VCs Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and Contrarian Ventures.

Metafuels focuses on sustainable aviation fuel made using renewable electricity (eSAF)—a further environmentally-refined version of what has emerged as the leading long-term strategy to decarbonize air travel.

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It does not require the re-engineering or re-purchase of planes—nor a redesign of the underlying fueling infrastructure which supports both commercial and cargo airlines, route planning, or the existing customer experience, all of which make it an attractive and versatile option.

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Metafuels’ eSAF, and that of its competitors, can replace normal kerosene regardless of the size and type of aircraft or whether it operates short-haul or long-haul. But unlike their competitors in this space, Metafuels’ approach achieves the lowest cost of production through high efficiency and ultra-high yield of SAF.

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“Jetfuel is a special fuel,” says Leigh Hackett, Chairman, co-founder and CCO at Metafuels.“It has to operate in very varied environments from take-off to cruising altitude in all types of weather conditions while delivering high mission performance. Operational safety is paramount from fuel handling on the ground to high altitude combustion performance. Energy density, specific energy content, flash point, freeze point, derived cetane number, boiling curve and many other parameters have to meet stringent standards. Which is why, for safety reasons, these fuels need to go through the ASTM alternative aviation fuel accreditation process. 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.”

Saurabh Kapoor said, “Once we get past the building blocks of selecting sustainably-sourced carbon and hydrogen, we’re into relatively straightforward though groundbreaking technology to convert those components into jet fuel, Then, because it’s a form of kerosene (just not derived from petrochemicals), you can use the same pipelines, infrastructure, storage, transportation and aircraft. With industry leading cost of production, aerobrew will help airlines meet their obligations and stakeholders’ demands while maintaining competitiveness.”

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

Rokas Peciulaitis, Managing Partner and Founder at Contrarian Ventures, says: “We’re excited to join Saurabh, Leigh and the rest of the Metafuels team on their journey to transition aviation away from fossil fuels. To date, the aviation sector had very few feasible options to decarbonize. Flying is an absolutely essential part of the globalized economy, and without it we’d be numerous GDP percentage points worse off. We firmly believe Saurabh and Leigh and the team they’ve built as being at the forefront to scale SAF technology at large, and will enable us to keep flying with our net zero goals on track.”

Metafuels is focused on a technology that produces jet fuel as its primary output. This highly selective approach ultimately enables a higher yield which, together with high energy efficiency, allows industry leading cost of production to be achieved.

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About Metafuels

Metafuels is a Zurich-based aviation tech startup, focused on the development and deployment of proprietary sustainable fuel technologies, with an initial focus on synthetic aviation fuel. Metafuels is positioned to address one of the most challenging areas of decarbonization, with the aviation industry responsible for up to 3.5% of total global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

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