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US-based biofuels startup WasteFuel nets $10M for its bio-methanol plant in Dubai

WasteFuel funding
Picture credits: WasteFuel

The transportation sector is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions and is also on the leading edge of reform, as individual companies and global trade groups set ambitious goals and push towards decarbonisation. 

Today, over 90% of all consumer products are transported over water and, in the effort to reach net-zero, some of the biggest companies in the shipping industry are converting to bio-methanol-ready ships. Research shows that maritime emissions could be cut by between a third and a half this decade by using already available techniques, including bio-methanol. Working with this mission, WasteFuel is working to lead the net-zero transition of the maritime transportation sector and has already made significant gains.

First bio-methanol plant in Dubai

WasteFuel, a California-based biofuels company, has raised $10 million in Series B funding. The investment round was led by a London VC firm, bp Ventures, which backed Service4Charge and Magenta.

The company 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. 

Gareth Burns, vice president of bp ventures, said: “WasteFuel projects will look to help with the growing volumes of global waste, whilst advancing the development of lower carbon solutions for hard-to-abate sectors. Achieving decarbonisation in shipping will require a step-change, and biofuels have a key role to play in helping the industry to decarbonise. We look forward to working together on WasteFuel’s next stage of growth and market development.”

Philipp Schoelzel, vice president of Next Generation biofuels in bp, said: “Working with WasteFuel allows bp to offtake bio-methanol and help optimise production which could support decarbonising shipping. bp is in action to produce more biofuels, aiming to deliver around 100,000 barrels per day by 2030, to help decarbonise transport. Investments like this are important as we strive to reach net zero and help our customers decarbonise too.”

Trevor Neilson, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of WasteFuel added: “This investment from bp ventures is a significant milestone for WasteFuel as it will help scale the production of bio-methanol to decarbonise the shipping sector. As companies who are reliant on shipping work to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential that we dramatically expand the availability of these fuels.” 

Low-carbon fuel for shipping

Founded by Trevor Neilson and Alejandro Estrada in 2018, WasteFuel aims to solve two growing global crises: the need to decarbonise transportation as quickly as possible at a massive scale, and the need to reduce waste. It addresses these challenges by converting municipal and agricultural waste into low-carbon fuels. 

WasteFuel will use scalable technologies to convert bio-based municipal and agricultural waste into lower carbon fuels, such as bio-methanol. Its deployment of anaerobic digestion and methanol production technologies will convert municipal and agricultural waste into viable lower-emission alternatives to traditional fuels, like bio-methanol.

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