bp ventures has committed $10 million, leading the Series B investment round, in WasteFuel, a California-based biofuels company that will use proven, scalable technologies to convert bio-based municipal and agricultural waste into lower carbon fuels, such as biomethanol.
Globally, solid waste production totals about 2 billion metric tons annually and is expected to increase to 3.4 billion metric tons by 2050.
In hard-to-abate sectors, such as shipping, bio-methanol has the potential to play a significant role in decarbonization. Maritime transport represents around 90% of trade worldwide, while producing 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In the effort to reach net zero, some of the biggest companies in the shipping industry are converting to methanol-ready ships. bp is working to establish supplies of lower carbon alternative fuels for the shipping sector and will look to use its trading expertise to bring WasteFuel’s bio-methanol to market.
WasteFuel recently launched its WasteFuel Methanol Module, designed to produce up to 100 metric tons per day of fuel grade methanol from a variety of waste sources including landfill gas and biogas from anaerobic digestion. The process is designed in a modular fashion to improve the overall utilization of resources and allow for cost-effective, quick scaling.
When utilized at a commercial scale the WasteFuel Methanol Module will produce green methanol fuel that can achieve up to 90% reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gases and pollutants compared to conventional fuels.
WasteFuel plans to develop multiple bio-methanol plants around the world in collaboration with local strategic partners including waste companies. WasteFuel expects its first project will be in Dubai and the company has a pipeline of additional projects to develop. bp and WasteFuel have entered a memorandum of understanding for bp to offtake the produced bio-methanol and to work together to help optimize and improve bio-methanol production.
Bioenergy is one of bp’s five transition growth engines, in which the company plans to invest heavily through this decade. The transition growth engines—which also include convenience, electric vehicle charging, hydrogen and renewables & power—will help drive bp’s transition to an integrated energy company and delivery of the company’s net zero ambition.
bp and WasteFuel are both members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI).
WasteFuel’s existing investors include Maersk, NetJets, Prime Infra, i(x) Net Zero, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Guy Oseary, and Aileen Getty among others.