SAF Key to Aviation's Decarbonization Plans

 - March 30, 2022, 10:19 PM
Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s manager of alternative fuels.

With the aviation industry searching for ways to reduce its carbon footprint, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) represents the biggest and most readily available tool available for flight departments looking to decarbonize, according to Avfuel manager of alternative fuels Keith Sawyer. SAF is typically delivered as a 30/70 blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel and is a drop-in replacement that fully meets ASTM standards for jet-A.

However, SAF currently represents a small portion of jet fuel supply. In 2019, 27 billion gallons of jet fuel were consumed in the U.S., but total global neat SAF production is expected to equal only approximately 600 million gallons by the end of this year and swell to 1.4 billion by 2025. Last year, the White House issued the SAF Grand Challenge, which called upon the U.S. industry to produce three billion gallons of neat SAF by 2030. This would amount to a total of nine billion gallons of SAF blend, which Sawyer noted will meet up to 15 percent of anticipated demand.

Speaking at AIN's Sustainable Flight Department forum yesterday in Los Angeles, Sawyer explained that each truckload of the blended fuel provides approximately 19 tonnes in CO2 emissions reduction over its lifecycle. Currently, 10 Avfuel-branded facilities now have continuous supplies of SAF, with several more expected in the coming months.