Dimensional Energy plans hiring after sustainable fuel company opens Arizona facility
Dimensional Energy, a nascent company that uses a renewable energy process to make aviation fuel and related products, took the wraps off its new $2 million fuel production facility in Arizona at an unveiling on Dec. 6.
The company, which produces its renewable hydrocarbon fuel from combining water and carbon dioxide, has opened its Dimensional Energy Tucson Technology Center on a 1.5-acre site at the UA Tech Park, operated by the University of Arizona.
Headquartered in Ithica, New York, Dimensional Energy inked a purchase agreement in 2021 with Chicago-based United Airlines to buy 300 million gallons of the company’s sustainable aviation fuel. United Airlines Ventures, the technology investment arm of the airline, was an early investor in Dimensional Energy.
The Tucson site became operational in September. The facility is producing sustainable aviation fuel for test flights and is aiming for commercial production by 2025, company officials said.
“United has made early investments in cutting-edge technologies at all levels of the supply chain, staking out our position as a leader in aviation sustainability and innovation,” said United Airlines Ventures President Mike Leskinen, in a statement. “As the only airline committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 without relying on carbon offsets, we recognized that our collaboration with Dimensional would not only help meet our sustainable aviation fuel goals, but could transform the aviation industry.”
That partnership will allow Dimensional Energy to scale up its operations quickly, according to company officials
“Partnerships in difficult to decarbonize sectors of our economy such as aviation, trucking, shipping, cement, and paper are unlocking Dimensional’s potential to address 10% of global emissions with our holistic model for using emissions from one industry to reduce emissions from another,” said Dimensional Energy co-founder and CEO Jason Salfi, in a statement.
Aviation is accountable for approximately 3% of global emissions, and industry is responsible for about 11%. By capturing industrial emissions on the front end and making fuels for aviation, trucking, shipping and other uses that cannot be electrified, Salfi said Dimensional will help reduce global emissions in a measurable way.
“Our desire to make the world a cleaner and more sustainable place drives our technology innovation,” said Dimensional Energy’s Chief Science Officer, Bradly Brennan, in a statement. “To ensure we have a livable planet for generations to come, we have no choice but to use carbon dioxide as a base chemical feedstock. Our reactor and catalysts overcome the challenges in converting carbon dioxide into fuels and products. And our technology is ready for deployment today.”
Dimensional Energy expects more hiring in 2023
Dimensional Energy, which was originally spun out of Cornell University, has raised more than $9 million since its founding in 2014, according to Crunchbase data. The company brought in two big chunks of capital through U.S. Department of Energy grants in the past two years. In early 2022 the company received $3.1 million through the DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, and in late 2021 it scored $2.7 million.
In mid-November, Dimensional Energy graduated from Cornell’s Center for Life Science Ventures business incubator where it took shape after receiving early seed rounds of funding.
The company said it has been hiring former workers from the oil, gas and mining sectors, and is looking to tap into Arizona’s university engineering student pipeline to fill open positions.
A company spokesperson said that the facility currently employs 23 workers, with 10 to 15 new hires expected in 2023.
No city or state incentives were received for the project, the spokesperson said. The company chose Tucson for the facility “because it’s a good city to get physical work done, and the weather is great for what we do,” the spokesperson said.
Dimensional Energy also has projects in development in New York, California, Greece and British Columbia, Canada.
The company’s move into Tucson comes just as a Utah company is proposing a $1 billion battery production facility in the area.
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