Microsoft’s climate fund backs sustainable jet fuel company Dimensional Energy

The increasing need to reduce carbon emissions drives many industries, including airlines and transportation, to seek sustainable alternatives to meet emission reduction targets and fulfill corporate social responsibility commitments. One of the solutions is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. 

An Ithaca, New York-based company called Dimensional Energy produces sustainable aviation fuel from carbon dioxide emissions and water, and the company said today it has closed $20 million in a Series A round to ramp up renewable jet fuel production. 

Envisioning Partners led the latest funding, which brings its total raised to $28 million, with strategic participation from investors including United Airlines’ sustainable flight fund, Microsoft’s climate innovation fund, RockCreek’s smart aviation futures fund, DSC Investment, Delek US, New York Ventures and existing investors like Elemental Excelerator and Chloe Capital. 

“The extraction and production of hydrocarbons has resulted in not only climate change but the displacement of indigenous people globally and myriad environmental catastrophes,” Dimensional Energy founder and CEO Jason Salfi told TechCrunch. “Dimensional Energy makes a replacement for oil from carbon dioxide and water. Dimensional is committed to sourcing feedstocks in balance with nature and communities where plants are built.” 

The company plans to use the new capital to construct an advanced power-to-liquid fuels plant, utilizing emissions from Lafarge’s Richmond Cement Plant in British Columbia, Canada, in partnership with carbon capture tech company Svante. Dimensional also earmarked part of the raise to develop a 200-barrel-per-day commercial power-to-liquid facility in New York and introduce its first consumer (B2C) and B2B products, including fossil-free surf wax and a cruelty-free fat alternative customized for vegan food companies.  

Image Credits: Tristan Davison / Dimensional Energy

The seven-year-old company sells its products to airlines, freight companies and specialty chemical firms. Earlier this year, Dimensional Energy and Boom Supersonic, an aircraft maker, signed a sustainable aviation fuel offtake deal that Boom would purchase up to 5 million gallons of SAF per year for Boom’s airliner flight test program. The company’s investor, United Airlines, also sealed a 300 million-gallon offtake agreement deal last year. 

Dimensional generates revenue via contracted offtake agreements, Salfi said, adding that it is actively looking for additional long-term contracts with airlines and specialty chemical companies. On top of that, the company will develop projects in partnership with EPCs (engineering, procurement and construction) to expand its business, the CEO noted. 

“Over the last several decades, low carbon power and efficiency gains have been deployed at scale,” Salfi said. “Dimensional saw the need in 2016 to make the molecules that would support a circular economy from carbon dioxide and renewable energy. The company went on to invent, integrate, scale and develop platform technologies that produce environmentally responsible and socially just hydrocarbons.” 

Apart from its Series A fundraising, Dimensional announced its filing of the Delaware Public Benefit Corporation. Salfi said it works with third parties to verify its performance, carbon intensity and full life cycle analysis. 

“The world needs immediate and rapid decarbonization across all sectors, and Dimensional Energy shows great promise as a cleaner and lower carbon aviation solution alongside reductions in industrial emissions,” Brandon Middaugh, senior director of climate innovation fund at Microsoft, said in a statement. “Microsoft has been an early adopter of sustainable aviation fuel and sees this market as critical for global decarbonization, which is why Microsoft’s climate innovation fund is supporting Dimensional Energy’s work as a direct equity investor.”

Other renewable aviation fuel manufacturers include LanzaTech, Neste, Gevo and World Energy. Dimensional’s key specialization is unparalleled diversity of skills and backgrounds, Salfi said, without further explanation. The outfit has 41 employees. 

“Dimensional Energy’s mix of proven large-scale technology, proprietary catalyst technology and project development capabilities positions the company very well for fast scale-up globally,” said Yong Hyun Kim, managing partner of Envisioning Partners.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *