Aether Fuels secures $34 million to boost development of sustainable fuels

Technology company Aether Fuels has secured $34 million in Series A financing from a syndicate of global investors, with the aim to, among other things, accelerate the scale-up of Aether Aurora, the company’s proprietary technology to create sustainable fuels for the aviation and ocean shipping industries.

Courtesy of Aether Fuels

According to Aether, AP Ventures led the round, which also includes Chevron Technology Ventures, CDP Venture Capital and Zeon Ventures. Xora Innovation and existing investors TechEnergy Ventures, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Foothill Ventures and JetBlue Ventures also participated.

AP Ventures’ Kevin Eggers said: “We are pleased to add Aether to our portfolio of climate companies, and delighted to join this impressive syndicate... Aether is advancing at pace, and we are excited to support their growth.”

The company’s Aether Aurora leverages technology licensed from strategic partner GTI Energy and is said to deliver “breakthrough” economics via a transformed Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process by combining innovations in chemistry (catalysts), equipment (reactors) and process flows to slash plant investment and operating costs, while simultaneously driving up yield.

As per Aether, it is also “highly flexible, enabling the conversion of a wide range of abundant waste carbon feedstocks into jet fuel and other liquid hydrocarbons and therefore overcomes the supply constraints faced by many other sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production processes.”

Aether’s CEO Conor Madigan claimed that “without dramatically scaling the capacity to produce the fuels, supply will remain seriously constrained, and the transition will be slow, if not impossible. This is precisely the problem we address with a disruptive scalable solution that encompasses novel chemistry, equipment, and process flows to simplify the conversion process, while enabling maximum carbon flexibility. The result: more product at vastly lower CapEx costs than existing approaches.”

Aether also pointed out that Aether Aurora is suitable for e-fuel, biofuel and recycled carbon fuel projects.

To note, Aether will use the new capital to further expand its research and development (R&D) infrastructure, scale up its novel catalysts and process technology and expand and accelerate the construction of a fully integrated 100-gallon-per-day (gpd) test production plant that builds on the operation of an existing 1.5 gpd pilot line.

In addition, the company revealed it will begin developing a pipeline of commercial-scale production facilities that include projects in the U.S. and Southeast Asia to produce SAF and other sustainable liquid fuels, in collaboration with select strategic partners.

To facilitate this work, Aether and GTI Energy have partnered to establish an Aether R&D center within GTI Energy’s Chicago-area campus, where the existing 1.5 gpd line, and the 100 gpd plant under construction, are located.