Fulcrum starts production of low-carbon synthetic crude oil
Photo courtesy of Fulcrum Bioenergy

Fulcrum starts production of low-carbon synthetic crude oil

Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. announced that it has successfully produced a low-carbon synthetic crude oil using landfill waste as a feedstock at its Sierra BioFuels Plant located near Reno, Nevada, U.S.A., the world’s first commercial-scale landfill waste-to-fuels plant. 

This significant achievement positions Fulcrum as a renewable fuels leader producing and selling net-zero carbon fuel and addresses climate change by supporting the aviation industry’s goals to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

“This accomplishment is a watershed moment for Fulcrum and opens the door for our plans to transform landfill waste around the world into a low-carbon transportation fuel in a way that will have a profound environmental impact,” said Eric Pryor, Fulcrum’s president and chief executive officer. “After more than a decade of dedication and perseverance, successfully creating a low-carbon fuel entirely from landfill waste validates the strength of our process and our partners’ unwavering belief in and support for our business model.โ€

By producing a synthetic crude oil product, which can then be further refined into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Fulcrum has demonstrated its process and is preparing to supply its strategic partners with SAF that it expects will be net-zero carbon when compared on a lifecycle basis to traditional petroleum-based jet fuel.

“This is a significant accomplishment for Fulcrum and the aviation industry,” said United Airlines Ventures Managing Director Andrew Chang. “United has led with bold action to fight climate change, including committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 without relying on traditional carbon offsets, and investing in more sustainable fuel production than any other airline globally. We look forward to advancing our collaboration with Fulcrum to increase the supply of sustainable aviation fuel.”  

“Fulcrum has successfully demonstrated a groundbreaking technological achievement that will have far-reaching implications for clean energy around the globe. We are proud to not only be an investor but also a strategic partner as we explore bringing Fulcrum’s patented and proprietary waste-to-fuel process to the APAC region together,” said Dongsoo Kang, head of SK Innovation’s portfolio division.

“This is a tremendous and exciting accomplishment for Fulcrum and is also very important for Cathay to reach its commitment for using 10% sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. As Fulcrum’s first airline investor and fuel offtake partner, we look forward to using SAF produced by Fulcrum very soon. We are confident that this milestone will help open up more SAF production capacity in Asia and around the world,” said Grace Cheung, Group head of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility at Cathay Pacific Airways. 

The company has identified and is making progress on its planned growth program, which Fulcrum expects will have the capacity to produce approximately 400 million gallons of net-zero carbon transportation fuel annually. The company’s development program includes the Centerpoint BioFuels Plant in Gary, Indiana, and the Trinity Fuels Plant in the Texas Gulf Coast region, both in the United States, and the NorthPoint project in the United Kingdom.