Maersk Growth has made a leading venture investment in Prometheus Fuels, a Silicon Valley-based startup with a promising direct air capture-technology to enable cost efficient, carbon neutral eFuels for shipping (earlier post).
The minority investment in Prometheus Fuels will support A.P. Moller - Maersk’s work to execute on the strategy to decarbonize marine operations.
Maersk expects several fuels to exist alongside in the future fuel mix and has identified 4 potential fuel pathways to decarbonization; biodiesel, alcohols, lignin-enhanced alcohols and ammonia.
The investment supports Maersk’s efforts with electrofuels which include alcohols produced from renewable energy. Along with biodiesel, alcohols including green methanol are feasible fuel technologies already today.
Prometheus Fuels is developing a very exciting and innovative technology to produce carbon based electrofuels from direct air capture of CO2. Electrofuels are expected to play a key role for the decarbonisation of shipping and, if scaled successfully, Prometheus Fuels’ technology will address a key constraint for carbon based electrofuels—namely the cost competitiveness of direct air capture.—Morten Bo Christiansen Head of Decarbonization, A.P. Moller - Maersk
Prometheus’ fuel production process starts with direct air capture of CO2, which is then moved to an electrochemical stack where the carbon is combined with hydrogen molecules from water to create long-chain alcohols. The alcohols are filtered out from the process water, and then a final catalyst step combines the alcohols and recovers the water. This step can be customized to produce a variety of hydrocarbon electrofuels.
Maersk expects synthetic alcohols and other electrofuels to play a big role in the decarbonization of shipping, due to its long-term scalability advantages compared to biobased fuels. Produced from renewable energy and water and ambient CO2 from direct air capture, e-fuels have the potential to offer infinite availability regardless of geographic scope.
Our zero net carbon, zero sulfur electrofuel doesn’t compete with food production—it comes from renewable electricity and air so its feedstock is limitless. Our electrofuel offers a truly viable solution to decarbonize shipping—one that can scale and be implemented in time to avoid catastrophic global warming. We’re excited to partner with Maersk, a global leader in decarbonization in the transportation and shipping industries, to accelerate this transition.—Rob McGinnis, Founder and CEO of Prometheus Fuels
Maersk joins a team of investors which includes BMW i Ventures and Metaplanet. Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Partner at Maersk Growth, will join the Board of Prometheus Fuels.
In August Maersk ordered 8 green-methanol-fueled ocean-going vessels to be delivered from Q1 2024. (Earlier post.) Earlier this month Maersk invested in WasteFuel, a California-based startup producing green bio-methanol from waste. (Earlier post.)