Decarbonisation Technology May 2022 Issue

many of the major carriers, allowing private passengers to pay a ticket premium that is then transferred down through the airline procurement chain to ensure SAF blending. • On the corporate level, major organisations are now actively trading air travel emission credits and maturing dialogues with their air transportation partners to formulate actionable, mid- and long-term SAF strategies driven by an increasing societal demand, which, when combined with the lack of SAF production, has led to SAF prices in excess of 3000$/t FOB Rotterdam in early 2022. Project development support • Major corporate organisations are in some cases partnering with airlines and migrating upstream in the SAF supply chain to inject capital, offtake commitments, and other support directly at the project-development level, helping to reduce risk, offset project development costs, and catalyse SAF supply market growth. SAF processes review Among the seven pathways currently certified under the ASTM D-7566 specification for synthetic kerosene to be blended into the Jet A1 pool, Axens is uniquely positioned, providing de-risked technology for the three main pathways. The Fischer-Tropsch pathway was the first process to be certified in 2009, followed by the hydrotreatment of esters and fatty acids in 2011. The Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) process was certified in 2018 for SAF production. Each of these pathways can significantly reduce fuel lifecycle GHG compared to fossil baselines, with reductions well over 90% possible when utilising advanced cellulosic feedstocks and/or green power. The following section will give more details on the certified SAF pathways licenced by Axens and shown in Figure 2 . Vegan: hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) pathway Vegan is a flexible solution to produce renewable diesel and SAF through the hydrotreatment of a wide range of lipids (renewable vegetable oils and animal fats). This technology allows producers to


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Operational improvements


Aircraft technology


Sustainable aviation fuels and CORSIA



Carbon neutral growth from 2020






This programme aims to freeze aviation CO₂ emissions at 2020’s level via three actions: increasing airframe and engine efficiency, improving operations efficiency, and expanding the use of biofuels (SAF). • Europe: In 2021, under the Fit for 55 initiative, EU regulations defined a road map and mandates for SAF, which are also agreed by the ATAG: from 2% in 2025, 5% by 2030, all the way up to 63% in 2050. According to the ATAG, it is likely that the aviation sector will need around 450-500 million tons of SAF per year by 2050. Europe regulations are promoting advanced biofuels or those derived from feedstocks not in direct or indirect competition with food resources. • US: Many US fuel purchasers are considering carbon-intensity-based metrics to evaluate fuel sustainability, utilising tools like the GREET model developed by Argonne National Lab. Such models do not group feedstocks or processes by category, but instead scientifically calculate a given feed’s overall GHG emission profile considering its feedstock production, transportation, processing, and utilisation. The resulting scientifically based, quantified Carbon Intensity (CI) score can then be utilised to both (1) determine the sustainability of a given fuel compared to fossil baselines and (2) provide regulatory and credit structures that incentivise CI reductions across the entire SAF value chain. Market price • Consumers may also play a role in growing SAF production. Programmes exist today from Figure 1 Contribution of measures for reducing international aviation net CO 2 emissions (ref CORSIA)


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