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Twelve has pulled as much as $200 million in funding since inception and its vision is being powered by major Venture Capital firms.
Berkeley, California-based chemical technology company Twelve has landed Alaska Air Group Inc (NYSE: ALK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) as its new partners to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Twelve has discovered a new technology that will help it develop clean fuels out of carbon at a much cheaper cost.
The Twelve technology is an important one considering the fact that SAF is a very complicated and expensive product to create, and the presence of this new alternative will propel the startup into the aviation industry as a more sustainable option. Besides the partnership with Microsoft and Alaska Airlines, Twelve is also banking on tax credits that will be given to startups producing clean energy through the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Our process takes CO2, water, and electricity as inputs. We use the electricity to break apart CO2 and water, and then we have catalysts that recombine the elements to make new products. And one of the things that we can make is the building blocks for jet fuel,” said co-founder and CEO Nicholas Flanders.
The world has been recording a remarkable strain in the aviation industry as SAF production has been generally impacted, in part due to the disruption in the global supply chain fueled by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. While this is a positive case scenario to help propel Twelve, however, the need for airlines to meet very low net emission targets is one major reason why many will lean on the SAF that will be produced by startups like Twelve.
Twelve currently has the competitive advantage as Flanders confirmed that its process is relatively cheaper than the existing alternatives.
“The cost of renewable electricity has been falling over the last decade, so has the cost of CO2 capture, and so has the cost of electrolyzers, which is the technology that we use to transform CO2 and water into the building blocks for jet fuel,” he said.
Alaska Airlines to Lean Towards Twelve for Sustainability
Twelve is not an entirely new startup, but its future ambitions align with the sustainability goals of Alaska Airlines. The SAF on track to be produced by Twelve can easily be incorporated into the aircraft as they will be very compatible. No need to change the airlines at all.
“We have a goal of reaching net zero by 2040. We’ve got five steps to get there,” said Diana Birkett, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability at Alaska Airlines. “But sustainable aviation fuel offers the biggest opportunity of all of those steps to take a meaningful leap into that 2040 goal.”
Twelve has pulled as much as $200 million in funding since inception and its vision is being powered by major Venture Capital firms including DCVC, Capricorn Investment Group, Carbon Direct, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Breakout Ventures, Munich Ree, and Elementum Ventures.