Archived News

New SAF Could Reduce Emissions by 68%

November 18, 2021 — The University of Georgia has been researching the break-even price and lifecycle carbon emissions of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from a type of mustard plant. Brassica carinata is a non-edible oilseed crop that could potentially be grown in the southern United States. The aviation sector emits 2.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions nationwide, and SAF made from brassica carinata could reduce emissions by 68%. The current administration has proposed a tax credit that requires a 50% reduction in life cycle carbon emissions, and this new crop could help SAF producers exceed this standard.

More information about this research can be found here.

First Fossil-Free Jet Fuel Made from Carbon Dioxide

November 18, 2021 — Twelve, a California-based carbon transformation company, and Tulsa-based Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) announced they produced the first fossil-free jet fuel from carbon dioxide. The new biofuel, called E-Jet, is made using an electrochemical reactor and proprietary catalyst that electrifies the CO2 and then refines it into carbon neutral jet fuel. E-jet is a drop-in replacement for conventional jet fuels and can be used without changing existing plane designs or commercial regulations. This project was funded by the United States Air Force, and can be used by both commercial and military aviation.

The E-Jet announcement can be found here.

London Heathrow Calls for SAF Mandate

November 3, 2021 — London Heathrow Airport has encouraged the U.K. to mandate the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to help the aviation industry lower carbon emissions. The airport is also encouraging other policies that would scale up SAF production and include support mechanisms and loan guarantees for producers. The airline industry has been willing to adapt SAF usage but cost and availability are still barriers for more widespread adoption. Heathrow believes that without uniform rules, carriers that spearhead this movement will be at an economic disadvantage. The airport is seeking a mechanism called contracts for difference (CFDs) to support SAF prices. CFDs are widely used in the renewable energy industry, and they establish a fixed price over a period of time. This would give suppliers a certainty for future revenue and help them secure financing. This could supplier increase production and meet the growing demand in the industry.

More information on the policies Heathrow is demanding can be found here.

Airlines Announce 10-year SAF Agreements

November 3, 2021 — JetBlue has announced intentions to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from SG Preston, a bioenergy firm. JetBlue plans to use the SAF for flights from New York’s airports. SG Preston will begin delivering fuel in 2023 and continue over a 10-year period. Delta Airlines has also announced a similar agreement. The $1 billion deal with Aemetis entails SAF being supplied over the next decade beginning in 2024. JetBlue and Delta have both pledged to replace 10% of their fuel usage with SAF by 2030. With the current administration encouraging SAF production, JetBlue and Delta’s announcements are the latest as airlines try to shift away from traditional jet fuels to lower their carbon footprints.

JetBlue and Delta’s announcements can be found here and here.

More than 50 Companies Make SAF Usage Pledge

November 3, 2021 — Recently, more than 50 companies, including Delta, BP, and Boeing, pledged to replace 10% of the global jet fuel supply with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Currently, SAF accounts for only 0.1% of jet fuel used for commercial aviation. While the industry anticipates electric and hydrogen-powered planes, they won’t be available for at least another decade. In the meantime, SAF is the best option for decarbonizing commercial aviation as it is 80% cleaner than conventional jet fuel. However, SAF production will need to increase exponentially to accommodate the rate of adaptation. The companies who made this pledge to replace their fuel supply with SAF hope this gives fuel producers more confidence to invest in SAF.

More information on this pledge can be found here.

Chevron and Gevo to Build SAF Facility

October 8, 2021 — Chevron and Gevo, a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, announced plans to partner in building and operating at least one new facility to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Gevo will use its proprietary technology to produce SAF and renewable blending components for traditional fuels from inedible corn. The collaboration will give Chevron the right to market around 150 million gallons of the fuel annually to customers. This partnership is the latest of Chevron’s strategies to offer their consumers innovative renewable fuels to lower their carbon footprint.

More information on this partnership can be found here.

Shell Makes SAF Production Announcements

October 8, 2021 — Royal Dutch Shell announced a decision to build a biofuels facility at Shell Energy and Chemicals Park in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This biofuels facility will have the capacity to produce 820,000 tonnes of biofuel annually. After being constructed, this plant will be one of the largest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other biofuels from waste. Shell has a goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and this facility will help the company with this target. The facility is anticipated to begin production starting in 2024. It will produce low-carbon fuels from waste such as used cooking oil, animal fat, and other residues. SAF could account for up to half of the 820,000 tonnes of renewable fuel produced annually.

After announcing their facility in Rotterdam, Shell also announced plans to produce 2 million tonnes of SAF by 2025. Shell expects their SAF, which will be produced by the waste products mentioned above, to reduce emissions by up to 80%. Currently, SAF accounts for less than .1% of global aviation fuel demand. A major hurdle in the production and usage of SAF is the cost, as it is around 8 times higher than conventional jet fuel. Shell is hopeful that other companies will follow their lead with similar low-carbon fuel production plants and goals.

More information on the Rotterdam plant can be found here and information on Shell’s production announcement can be found here.

Biofuel Producers Suggest Changes to SAF Tax Credit Plan

October 8, 2021 — The Biden administration has added a proposal to boost sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production into their spending plan. The proposal has a tax credit of up to $2 a gallon for sellers and users of SAF. This credit is supposed to offset the high cost of sustainably produced fuels. The proposal deals with how carbon-saving benefits of fuel production are measured, and biofuel makers believe the plan’s model exaggerates the impact of farm grown biofuel feedstocks. Using that model would mean farmers who produce feedstocks for fuel production would not be able to access the tax credit. The biofuel makers are advocating for the model used to be changed so producers of feedstocks such as ethanol and soybean oil can be allowed to participate. The White House is expected to make the final decision on the matter.

More information on the tax credit and suggested changes can be found here.

American Airlines Partners with Breakthrough Energy Catalyst

September 29, 2021 — American Airlines has joined the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst Initiative to accelerate clean energy technologies. The program aims to raise money from various organizations to make capital investments to assist in making clean energy technologies more accessible and affordable. American Airlines announced an investment of $100 million in the initiative to focus on key areas such as direct air capture, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, and sustainable aviation fuel. The support from companies such as American Airlines comes after the Biden Administration’s plans to accelerate carbon cutting, targeting a 20% reduction in airline emissions by 2030.

More information on the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst can be found here.

Cathay Pacific Commits to Using 10% SAF by 2030

September 29, 2021 — In an effort to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Cathay Pacific has pledged to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for 10% of its total fuel consumption by 2030. Cathay Pacific has been supporting SAF development and usage for several years. Cathay Pacific has also invested in Fulcrum BioEnergy and Airbus to scale up SAF production and test new aircraft delivery flights, respectively. Cathay Pacific continues to pursue their net-zero carbon goals, and this SAF target is a step toward achieving them.

More information on Cathay Pacific’s SAF announcement can be found here.

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