top of page

UA News and the Unconventional Ag event series are no longer being offered. You can continue to stay updated on the global ag, agtech, food, and food tech sectors through our other publications and events: Global AgInvesting conference series, AgInvesting Weekly, Agtech Intel NewsWomen in Agribusiness Summit, and Women in Agribusiness Today.  We are grateful for your past support, and look forward to staying connected with you through our range of media platforms.

  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Southwest Airlines Invests $30M in LanzaJet to Produce SAF from Ag Residues

Southwest Airlines is investing $30 million into a partnership with LanzaJet, a top sustainable fuels technology company and sustainable fuels producer, for the development of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility and to advance the operations of SAFFiRE Renewables, a corn stover-to-ethanol tech company in which Southwest is invested. 

Through this investment, Southwest joins LanzaJet’s other existing investors including British Airways, LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co., Shell, Suncor Energy, Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, Breakthrough Energy, and All Nippon Airways. 

This partnership follows the opening of LanzaJet Freedom Pines Fuels - the world’s first commercial scale ethanol-to-SAF plant located in Soperton, Georgia. This historic facility will have the ability to produce SAF and renewable diesel from low-carbon and sustainable ethanol which has International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, and will serve as a blueprint to scale SAF production as LanzaJet aims to reach 1 billion gallons by 2030. 

LanzaJet now plans to undertake the development for an SAF production facility in the U.S. with Southwest as the anchor SAF offtaker. This new biorefinery will utilize LanzaJet’s cutting-edge technology, which is capable of scaling to levels needed to decarbonize aviation through available and sustainable feedstock, residue-based feedstock solutions, and promising economics. It also will be intended to convert SAFFiRE’s cellulosic ethanol into SAF. 

"The U.S. is an incredibly important market for us – it's our home, where our technology originated and scaled, the site of our and the world's first commercial ethanol-to-SAF plant, and an important opportunity to support the existing U.S. biofuels and ethanol industries with our leading ethanol-to-SAF technology," said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO, LanzaJet.

Several factors, including pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and to reduce the impacts of air travel, have been driving the aviation sector toward more environmentally friendly practices. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), or renewable jet fuel, is produced from sustainable feedstocks such as agricultural residues, waste oils, algae, and other organic materials, and has the ability to reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by as much as 80 percent, depending on the feedstock and processes used in production. 

It was June 2022 when Southwest announced it had become a shareholder in SAFFiRE Renewables, a company launched by D3MAX as part of a project backed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and produce scalable SAF by using technology developed by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to convert corn stover into renewable ethanol that can then be processed into SAF. 

"The alignment of Southwest and LanzaJet is a powerful combination that has the potential to integrate the SAF value chain and to double-down on the US ethanol, aviation, and biofuel industries,” said Samartzis. “Our work together will lead us closer to meeting aviation's decarbonization goals by continuing to scale SAF production in the United States, while also tapping into the U.S. ethanol industry's potential to catalyze the next generation of SAF production."

Positioning to be at the leading edge of SAF innovation and production is prescient given forecasts for the industry. Valued at just under US$617 million in 2023, the global industry is expected to grow at an incredible CAGR of 42.39 percent to land at a value of US$14.8 billion by 2032. 

"We're taking the next step in our sustainability journey toward our goal of net zero by 2050," said Bob Jordan, president and CEO, Southwest Airlines. "We look forward to working with LanzaJet, which is developing potentially important technology that could create more opportunities for Southwest to obtain scalable SAF, a critical component in the success of our environmental sustainability goal to replace 10 percent of our jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030."

~ Lynda Kiernan-Stone is editor in chief with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s AgInvesting Weekly News and  Agtech Intel News, as well as HighQuest Group’s Unconventional Ag. She can be reached at

*The content put forth by Global AgInvesting News and its parent company HighQuest Partners is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. All information or other material herein is not to be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Global AgInvesting and HighQuest Partners are not a fiduciary in any manner, and the reader assumes the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content on this site.


NeverStop - 650x85.jpg
CPM Logo Image
LECO Ad Image
MOSOY-NovDecJan-1000 x825-02.png
UA News Subscribe Image


Contact Lynda Kiernan-Stone,

editor of Unconventional Ag News, to submit a story for consideration:

bottom of page