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Fly Net Zero Media Update

News actualites aeromorning

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

It’s interesting to note the many positive stories that we have seen this month when it comes to SAF. Last March, Airbus flew its biggest airplane – the A380 – on SAF: the aircraft flew from Toulouse with one of its Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines powered by 100% sustainable fuel. Ryanair aims to achieve a third of its decarbonisation target by flying its planes with sustainable aviation fuels. Oneworld members are to purchase up to 200 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year from Gevo.

Neste and DHL have announced one of the largest ever sustainable aviation fuel deals. Neste will supply DHL with approximately 320,000 tonnes (400 million litres) of SAF in the next five years. Another Finnish company, Finnair, signed an agreement with Aemetis for the supply of 17.5 million gallons of SAF over seven years. British Airways, in the meantime, has taken delivery of an initial batch of the first UK-produced SAF under its agreement with Phillips 66.

On the production side, Honeywell and China’s Oriental Energy Company have announced plans to build China’s first SAF production base. TotalEnergies will begin producing SAF at its Normandy platform and aims to fulfil the French government’s new mandate for aircraft to use at least 1% of SAF by 1 January 2022. Repsol started the construction of Spain’s first advanced biofuels plant at its Cartagena refinery. United Airlines, along with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, announced a collaboration with Cemvita Factory to commercialize the production of SAF through a new process using CO2 and synthetic microbes. There is also this interesting spotlight on SAF producers from

Following up on last month’s interview with Berat Haznedaroglu, I would invite you to read this interesting work on the potential of algae for alternative energy source.

New technology

France announced an investment plan that will allocate between 2022 and 2030, 1.2 billion Euro for decarbonizing aviation, including 800 million in R&D on the development of a hydrogen aircraft.

Alternative fuel start-up Universal Hydrogen plans to open facility in New Mexico (US) for the manufacturing and distribution of hydrogen fuel tanks for aircraft. Airbus is aiming to explore high-voltage battery behaviour during test flights of an electric light aircraft this year, with the aim of applying the technology to ‘micro-hybridisation’ – the use of battery power in a supportive, rather than propulsive, role for larger aircraft types. In the meantime, Pratt & Whitney was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy Project to develop hydrogen propulsion technology. As part of this project, they are working to develop highly efficient hydrogen-fuelled propulsion technology for the commercial aviation industry. Delta and Airbus have announced their collaboration on industry-leading research to accelerate the development of a hydrogen-powered aircraft and the ecosystem it requires.

Operations and Infrastructure

Denmark pledged to build up to six gigawatts (GW) of electrolysis capacity to convert renewable power into green hydrogen as it looks to wean itself off fossil fuels and boost its energy security. In India, Kochi airport has become the world’s first to completely operate on solar power.

Focus on…

Solar Fuel with Synhelion & SWISS

Seven technical pathways exist for SAF production, all centred on using biomass. But renewable electricity and solar heat are on the cards as new production methods. Both need synthesis gas as an intermediate, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Industrial gas-to-liquid processes then turn this into liquid fuel.

SWISS and the Lufthansa Group are working with Synhelion to develop sun-to-liquid (StL) fuel in what will be an industry first. Synhelion has developed a unique technology that will ultimately use solar heat to drive thermochemical processes for the production of SAF. Solar heat is the cheapest renewable energy source available. Solar-fuel plants don’t need to be connected to a power grid as they are built in an independent, stand-alone configuration. It means that production capacities are quickly and independently scalable.

To read the full story, featuring interviews with Synhelion and SWISS, please refer to the article in Airlines magazine.

Berat Haznedaroglu and his algae SAF project

Algae has been explored as a viable feedstock for renewable fuels for more than a decade, however it has yet to successfully transition into regular commercial production. Algae turns sunlight, water and fertilizer into fuel. A promising characteristic of micro or macro algae is the small geographic footprint required relative to the amount of fuel that can be produced. But it is important to note that substantial energy is still required to convert algae feedstock into a bio oil, which can hinder the emissions reduction potential and has historically made algae-based renewable fuel expensive.

Source : IATA

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