Reaction Engines brings thermal management technology to Project Fresson to develop hydrogen fuel-cell-powered aircraft

Reaction Engines has joined the Project Fresson consortium (earlier post) led by Cranfield Aerospace (CAeS). Project Fresson aims to accelerate the journey to zero-emissions passenger-carrying aircraft through using hydrogen fuel cell technology and Reaction Engines has been selected to provide its thermal management technology (earlier post) for fuel cell cooling.... Read more →

Rolls-Royce, working with Boeing and World Energy, has carried out a successful test flight of its 747 Flying Testbed aircraft using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on a Trent 1000 engine. The aircraft flew from Tucson airport in Arizona, passing over New Mexico and Texas, with a Trent 1000 engine... Read more →

HT Aero (Huitian), an urban air mobility (UAM) company and an affiliate of XPeng (earlier post), entered into a definitive agreement with a consortium of investors to raise more than US$500 million for its Series A capital funding. The funding round is led by IDG Capital, 5Y Capital and XPeng... Read more →

Twelve produces first batch of E-Jet fuel from CO2 electrolysis; partnership with USAF; electrifying fuel, not planes

Carbon transformation company Twelve (formerly Opus 12, earlier post) has produced the first fossil-free jet fuel—called E-Jet—from CO2 electrolysis, demonstrating a scalable, energy-efficient path to the de-fossilization of global aviation. This project was supported through funding from the US Air Force (USAF), and produced fuel globally applicable for both commercial... Read more →

UGA study: carinata-based SAF can deliver about 65% relative carbon savings compared to conventional jet fuel

A team at yhe Universiy of Georgia has estimated the break-even price and life cycle carbon emissions of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) derived from oil obtained from Brassica carinata—a non-edible oilseed crop—in the Southeastern United States. The open-access study is published in GCB Bioenergy. Carinata has the potential as a... Read more →

Italy-based integrated energy company Eni is launching the production of alternative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Eni has been producing Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuel in its Venice and Gela bio-refineries since 2014 via its proprietary Ecofoning technology; it can also produce sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from waste and plant-based raw... Read more → Corporation secured a $50-million investment commitment from GEM Global Yield LLC SCS, a $3.4-billion, Luxembourg-based private alternative investment group. MOBIUS will use the funds to scale-up battery module production to support electric aircraft customers through a subscription model including maintenance and salvage services. GEM will provide MOBIUS with a... Read more →

Universal Hydrogen closed a $62-million new funding round; the oversubscribed round was completed less than six months after the company’s Series A (earlier post), bringing total raised to $85 million. New investors in the round include Mitsubishi HC Capital; Tencent; Stratos; GE Aviation; Waltzing Matilda Aviation; Fourth Realm; Hawktail; Marc... Read more →

Plug Power partners with Airbus on study to decarbonize air travel & airport operations with green hydrogen

Plug Power announced a strategic partnership with Airbus to study the feasibility of bringing green hydrogen to future aircraft and airports worldwide. As part of its goal of bringing zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035, Airbus has identified green hydrogen as one of the most promising options to decarbonize air... Read more →

Gevo and Axens ally on ethanol-to-jet technology and sustainable aviation fuel commercial project development

Gevo and Axens North America have entered into an agreement that establishes a strategic alliance aimed at accelerating the commercialization of sustainable ethanol-to-jet (ETJ) projects in the United States. As part of the alliance, Axens brings technologies with more than 60 related patents; engineering packages; proprietary catalysts; and certain proprietary... Read more →

Amprius Technologies, a producer of 100% silicon anodes for Li-ion batteries (earlier post), announced a contract award with the US Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO). The contract, an 18-month rapid prototyping effort, includes the design, development, and validation of high-energy-density lithium-ion batteries to be used in unmanned... Read more →

Vantis, North Dakota’s Statewide Unmanned Aircraft Systems Network, will partner with Thales as the long-term systems integrator to build out the UAS (drone) infrastructure across the state. Thales was one of three aviation companies providing engineering and integration services being evaluated to enable BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) UAS flights on... Read more →

WUR developing new aviation fuel based on mixture of acetone and alcohol from wet bio-waste streams

In the Netherlands, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and its partners have developed a new type of aviation fuel produced using bio-based waste streams from the agriculture industry. The new fuel is based on a mixture of acetone and alcohol. Although it does not yet meet all industry requirements for... Read more →

HyPoint, a company developing turbo air-cooled hydrogen-fuel-cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility (earlier post), has entered into a strategic development agreement with BASF New Business GmbH (BNB), a subsidiary of chemical company BASF. The purpose of the partnership is to develop and test a new proton-conductive Celtec membrane... Read more →

Rolls-Royce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labor and Energy Brandenburg (MWAE) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to advance the research and development of hybrid-electric propulsion systems in Brandenburg for the next generation of aviation. The partners... Read more →

Eighteen months after start of construction of its intelligent satellite production and testing center in Taizhou, China, Geely Technology Group has begun mass production of commercial satellites. The first set of low-orbit satellites rolled off the production line, marking a new milestone in Geely’s advancement into the commercial aerospace sector.... Read more →

Honda Motor outlined the technology development direction the company is currently pursuing for the challenges Honda is taking on in new areas while leveraging its core technologies. These new areas include an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL); an avatar robot to expand the range of human ability; and... Read more →

Aemetis signs $1B offtake agreement with Delta Air Lines for 250M gallons of sustainable aviation fuel

Aemetis, a renewable fuels company focused on negative-carbon-intensity products, signed an offtake agreement with Delta Air Lines for 250 million gallons of blended fuel containing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to be delivered over the 10-year term of the agreement. The aggregate value of the agreement is estimated to be more... Read more →

TotalEnergies and Safran form strategic partnership to accelerate the decarbonization of the aviation industry; key role for SAF

TotalEnergies and Safran signed a strategic partnership agreement to develop technical and commercial solutions jointly for the decarbonization of the aviation industry. In line with the ambition of both companies to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, this major partnership aims to accelerate the reduction of the CO2 emissions... Read more →

XPeng-backed HT Aero unveils urban usage scenarios for flying vehicle

HT Aero, an urban air mobility (UAM) company in which China-based EV manufacturer XPeng is an investor, unveiled future urban usage scenarios for its fifth-generation flying vehicle XPeng X2, including autonomous flight take-off and landing for specific city scenarios, back-end scheduling, charging and flight control. In its first debut at... Read more →

Honeywell and Wood partner on technologies for carbon-neutral sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

Honeywell and Wood announced a comprehensive package of technologies to support the effort to produce carbon-neutral aviation fuel. When used together, the technologies—based on Honeywell’s UOP Ecofining process technology and Wood’s hydrogen plant technology—could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 100% using certain feedstocks when compared to traditional petroleum... Read more →

A new white paper published by the Argonne National Laboratory Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS) outlines a clear set of battery requirements and research and development needs to accelerate the commercialization of electric propulsion for aviation—from air taxis in the near term to 737 class aircraft in the... Read more →

Vertical Aerospace, Marubeni to explore the introduction of eVTOL in Japan; conditional pre-order option for 200 units

Vertical Aerospace, a British eVTOL manufacturer, and Marubeni Corporation, a leading Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate have reached an agreement to explore Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) travel solutions focused on the application of Vertical’s flagship electric aircraft, the VA-X4 (earlier post), in the Japanese market. Marubeni has also... Read more →

YASA spin-out Evolito, a new company developing and manufacturing direct- and indirect-drive electric motors and power electronics for aerospace applications, launched publicly as a privately-owned business. Evolito was spun out earlier this year by YASA (the pioneer of automotive axial-flux electric motors acquired by Mercedes-Benz in July 2021) exclusively to... Read more →

Airbus announced plans for a new CityAirbus at the company’s first Airbus Summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace” as the emerging Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market begins to firm up. The fully electric vehicle is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its... Read more →

Shell aims to produce ~2M tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel per year by 2025

Royal Dutch Shell announced its ambition to produce around 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a year by 2025. It also aims to have at least 10% of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030. Currently, sustainable aviation fuel accounts for less than 0.1% of the... Read more →

Forest products company SCA and St1 have entered a joint venture in Sweden to produce and sell renewable HVO diesel and biojet fuel. SCA will supply tall oil to the joint venture for feedstock and will invest approximately SEK 0.6 billion (US$71.7 million) in the company. SCA and St1 will... Read more →

Air New Zealand and Airbus to look into potential for hydrogen-powered aircraft in shorter domestic flights

Air New Zealand and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a joint research project to better understand the opportunities and challenges of flying zero-emission hydrogen aircraft in New Zealand. Under the MoU, Air New Zealand will analyze the impact hydrogen aircraft may have on its... Read more →

Shell to build one of Europe’s biggest biofuels facilities for SAF and renewable diesel; 820,000 tonnes/year

Royal Dutch Shell will build an 820,000-tonnes-a-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery. Once built, the facility will be among the largest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste. Shell expects... Read more →

Solvay adds new thermoplastic composite capacity in the US to meet growing automotive and aerospace demand

Solvay announced the installation completion of its new thermoplastic composites (TPC) manufacturing facility at its Greenville, South Carolina site. At full production capacity, the new line will add more than 30 positions at the 27,000-square-foot facility. The project represents a major milestone in Solvay’s efforts to industrialize its TPC capacity.... Read more →

Those who flew in 2020 had twice the environmental impact of those in 2019

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. The energy intensity of a transportation mode is calculated by dividing the amount of fuel used by the number of passenger miles traveled and converting the result into a common measure—Btu (British thermal units) per passenger mile traveled. Until recently, the energy intensity of... Read more →

DOE awarding nearly $65M for biofuels research to reduce airplane and ship emissions

As part of a White House roundtable to launch the Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Grand Challenge to decarbonize the aviation sector by 2050 (earlier post), the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $64.7 million in funding for projects focused on producing cost-effective, low-carbon biofuels. These investments will advance technologies to... Read more →

US launches government-wide Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge; 3B gpy by 2030; 100% of demand by 2050

The Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are launching a government-wide Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to meet the demand for sustainable aviation fuels by working with stakeholders to reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and expand production and use of sustainable aviation fuels... Read more →

United, Honeywell invest in Alder Fuels; 1.5-billion-gallon SAF offtake agreement

United and Honeywell announced a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels—a company that is developing technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When... Read more →

Chevron, Gevo to pursue sustainable aviation fuel investment; inedible corn feedstock

Chevron USA, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Gevo have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to invest jointly in building and operating one or more new facilities that would process inedible corn to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can lower the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuels used in the aviation... Read more →

Safety of flying and driving after the attacks of 9/11 revisited

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. In 2003, Michael Flannagan and I published a detailed analysis of the relative safety of flying and driving in the United States. The flying data were for 1992 through 2001, and thus they included the year of the 9/11 attacks. The analysis showed that,... Read more →

Wright Electric has begun testing its 2 MW (~2,700 horsepower) motor for electric and hydrogen aircraft. (Earlier post.) It’s the largest propulsive aerospace motor in existence to the company’s knowledge—about 2x larger than other propulsive motors in testing. Wright’s motor can work in 150+ passenger aircraft in a 10-motor-array format,... Read more →

ZeroAvia places evaluation order for Hyzon Motors’ high power density fuel cell system

Hyzon, a supplier of hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy vehicles, announced that ZeroAvia has placed an order for Hyzon Motors’s next generation, high-performance lightweight fuel cell. ZeroAvia will evaluate the fuel cell for use in its zero-emission aircraft development program, which focuses on hydrogen-electric solutions. ZeroAvia selected Hyzon’s fuel cell stack... Read more →

FAA approves G-1 certification basis for Archer eVTOL; step toward FAA Type Certification

Archer Aviation, a developer of all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has been actively engaged with the FAA through its Center for Emerging Concepts & Innovation and the Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office to develop the airworthiness and environmental requirements necessary for full certification of its eVTOL aircraft. Archer... Read more →

Chevron, Delta Air Lines, and Google to measure sustainable aviation fuel emissions data

Chevron USA, through its Chevron Products Company division, Delta Air Lines, and Google announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to track sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) test batch emissions data using cloud-based technology. Sustainable aviation fuel is produced from biofeedstocks that can reduce lifecycle carbon intensity significantly when compared to conventional... Read more →

Gevo plans to install alcohol-to-hydrocarbon process pilot unit at Luverne Facility; SAF, renewable premium gasoline

Gevo plans to install an alcohol-to-hydrocarbon process pilot unit at its facility located in Luverne, Minnesota. The pilot unit is being designed to produce market development quantities of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable premium gasoline, other renewable fuel products, as well as provide capability to supply market development quantities of... Read more →

Joby Aviation, Inc. became the first company to fly an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. As part of the two-week test campaign at Joby’s Electric Flight Base near Big Sur, California, NASA and Joby will join forces to... Read more →

Archer Aviation, a developer of all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced an agreement with the United States Air Force (USAF) to establish a collaborative strategy to explore the technical readiness and suitability of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft for USAF purposes. As Archer continues its work towards achieving FAA Type... Read more →

Octopus Hydrogen to supply green hydrogen to ZeroAvia for HyFlyer II

Octopus Hydrogen, Octopus Energy Group’s newly established hydrogen arm, will provide 100% green hydrogen to ZeroAvia’s R&D center at Cotswold Airport in the UK during the testing, certification and first commercial operations of its hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain technology. (Earlier post.) ZeroAvia will supplement on-site electrolysis hydrogen production with supply from... Read more →

HyPoint, a company developing turbo air-cooled hydrogen-fuel-cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility, entered into a multi-phase collaborative development agreement with Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC), a pioneer in advanced rotorcraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) platforms and technologies, for the development and certification of a hydrogen fuel cell system... Read more →

A patented process for converting alcohol sourced from renewable or industrial waste gases into jet or diesel fuel is being scaled up at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the help of partners at Oregon State University and the carbon-recycling experts at LanzaTech. A single-step chemical... Read more →

Lilium intends to enter $1B alliance with Azul airlines for electric aviation in Brazil; partnership with CUSTOMCELLS

Lilium GmbH, a developer of regional electric air mobility solutions (earlier post), intends to enter into a $1-billion commercial deal and strategic alliance with Brazilian airline Azul. Lilium plans to work with Azul to transform high-speed regional transportation in a country which sees close to 100 million domestic air passengers... Read more →

After launching the development of its 600 kW hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in 19-seat aircraft late last year (earlier post), ZeroAvia has achieved its first major milestone for the HyFlyer II program. The ground test involved ZeroAvia’s flight-intent 600 kW powertrain (ZA-600), pulling ZeroAvia’s new 15-ton HyperTruck mobile... Read more →

Biofuel and Ag organizations call for accountable life cycle analysis for SAF tax credits, DOE to lead

Growth Energy, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the Renewable Fuels Association sent a letter to the US Senate Committee on Finance and the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means outlining its recommendations for a sound and effective... Read more →

Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power, and AeroTEC set up hydrogen aviation center at Moses Lake, Washington

Universal Hydrogen, magniX, Plug Power and AeroTEC have established a Hydrogen Aviation Test and Service Center at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington. The center will focus on the test flight and certification of Universal Hydrogen’s retrofit conversion of a Dash-8 regional turboprop aircraft, scheduled for entry into... Read more →