Microsoft invests $50 million in LanzaJet for sustainable datacenter fuel

Microsoft is investing in sustainable-fuels company LanzaJet, which is building an alcohol-to-jet sustainable fuel production plant.

Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund has invested $50 million in LanzaJet, a sustainable fuels company. The money will go toward the construction of the Freedom Pines Fuels Plant in Soperton, Ga., which LanzaJet says is the world's first alcohol-to-jet sustainable fuel production plant.

Microsoft is interested in sustainable fuels as a way to make its cloud datacenters less dependent on diesel fuel. LanzaJet says it will bring lower-cost sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel to the global market. LanzaJet says its plant will use waste-based ethanol feedstock as the source for its converted fuel.

Microsoft officials have said the company is committed to being carbon-negative by 2030 and removing from the environment all the carbon it has emitted to date by 2050. 

Microsoft currently is on track to build between 50 and 100 new data centers every year. It is working to reduce concrete-and steel-embodied carbon in its building materials by 30% to 60%. It is working to invest in new sustainable materials for building foundations, structures, and enclosures. It is researching how low-carbon materials like earthen slabs, algae-grown bricks/panels, mushroom structural tubes, and agricultural waste panels can help reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, the company has signed power-purchase agreements for renewable energy. 

In 2020, Microsoft officials said they were testing hydrogen fuel cells as a potential replacement for diesel fuel in its data centers. 

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