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Masdar, TotalEnergies, Siemens Energy and Marubeni to certify a novel pathway to make Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from methanol

The consortium of Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, TotalEnergies, Siemens Energy and Marubeni announced that the Masdar-led initiative focused on green hydrogen to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is actively working with licensors to certify a new production pathway for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from methanol. This novel pathway will provide one more option to address the global need to produce and make SAF available globally and help the aviation industry decarbonize.

The consortium has been collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Group, and Khalifa University of Science and Technology, on a demonstration initiative for e-SAF.

Since January 2021, the partners in the initiative have completed a range of evaluations on technology suppliers, feasibility studies and conceptual designs, while working closely with regulators on compliance issues. The consortium has now zoned in on the methanol to jet (MTJ) pathway as its chosen technology route.

The Alcohol to Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene pathway (ATJ-SPK) has been certified in 2016 as meeting international standards for jet fuel. This pathway covers several alcohols such as ethanol and iso-butanol. The objective of the consortium is to widen the range of alcohols covered in this pathway by getting methanol, a key building block in the chemical industry, included in its remit.

Although the individual components of the MTJ pathway are for the most part mature technologies, they have not yet been integrated for the purposes of making SAF and this route is not yet certified. The consortium will now work together with licensors of the MTJ technology to get this novel pathway certified at the earliest.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF): Sustainable aviation fuel is an immediately available solution for significantly reducing the CO2 emissions of air transportation. It can be used as a drop-in fuel without modifying existing storage and refueling infrastructure, aircraft or engines. Gradual incorporation worldwide should help lower the CO2 emissions of air transportation since, on average, biojet fuel produces 80% fewer CO2 emissions over its lifecycle when produced from waste and residue.


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