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Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Aviation Fuel published

Posted on 02/03/2018

Aviation think-tank Air Transport Action Group has produced a beginner’s guide to Sustainable Aviation Fuel looking at the industry opportunities.

Download the beginners’ guide to SAF here.

It is widely recognised by people, industry and governments that collectively we need to do more to protect our planet’s natural resources. By providing a cleaner source of fuel to power the world’s fleet of aircraft, we can reduce the impact of climate change, at the same time as driving up economic growth and creating jobs.

SAF is made by blending conventional kerosene (fossil-based) with renewable hydrocarbon. They are certified as “Jet-A1” fuel and can be used without any technical modifications to aircraft.

SAF consists of three elements:

Sustainable, which is defined as something that can be continually and repeatedly resourced in a manner consistent with economic, social and environmental aims, specifically something that conserves an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources and does not contribute to climate change.

It is alternative, in this case meaning using materials or substances that can be used as fuels, other than conventional, fossil-sources (oil, coal, and natural gas).

Fuel means jet fuel that meets the technical and certification requirements for use in commercial aircraft.

There are a number of terms used to describe non-fossil based hydrocarbon fuel. Often, the term ‘biofuel’ is used; however, the aviation industry avoids this terminology, as it does not specify the sustainability aspect of these fuels.

Some biofuels, if produced from non-sustainable feedstocks, such as unsustainably-produced palm oil or crops that require deforestation, can cause additional environmental damage, making them unsuitable for aviation’s purposes.

SAF is therefore the term preferred by the aviation industry because the scope of the use of this term is broader than aviation biofuels.

Download the guide and read much more about the technical certification of SAF, its economic viability and the process and supply of these fuels.

Join KTN’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Special Interest Group. You can also follow us on Twitter or join our LinkedIn group.