Carinata Lands On ICAO's SAF Feedstock List

 - May 27, 2021, 11:14 AM
Carinata, or Ethiopian mustard, is a flowering plant that produces oil-rich seeds. After ICAO evaluated Carinata-derived SAF as being on a lifecycle greenhouse-gas reduction par with sustainable fuels produced from wastes and residues, companies such as Nuseed are promoting its non-food competing, soil regenerative qualities. (Photo: Nuseed)

ICAO recently published the first update of the list of default life cycle emissions for eligible fuels since 2019 in its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), and while much of the recent research in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) feedstocks has involved wastes and residue materials, the international aviation organization now includes Carinata, an oilseed crop, as a renewable feedstock with a similar lifecycle carbon emission reduction profile.

Non-competition with food crop space has become one of the major tenets for sustainability, causing fuel producers to explore feedstocks such as used cooking oil, forestry and agriculture residues, solid municipal waste, and even non-recyclable plastics to produce SAF.

“Being categorized with waste is a very good thing,” said Glenn Johnston, Carinata regulatory lead with crop development specialist Nuseed. The global company has developed a proprietary high-yield strain of the plant, which can be grown as a cover crop, with many agricultural benefits, including soil enhancement and erosion prevention. Grown between seasonal crop rotations, it will not compete for land use with food-producing plants. “Further affirmation like this by international UN bodies provides supportive framework that regenerative agriculture can reach GHG savings that are on a par with waste and residuals,” Johnston added.