European aviation sector and NGOs agree on sustainability of future fuels

As the European Union is about to unveil new targets for sustainable aviation fuel in 2021, a group of major European aviation companies—including KLM, Easyjet, Air France, International Airlines Group—as well as research organizations and environmental groups are calling for a more stringent policy approach to sustainability and the sector’s... Read more →


MIT team proposes SCR emission control for hybrid aviation turbines; reducing NOx by 95%

At cruising altitude, airplanes emit a steady stream of NOx into the atmosphere, where the chemicals can linger to produce ozone and fine particulates. Previous research has shown that the generation of these chemicals due to global aviation results in 16,000 premature deaths each year. Now, MIT engineers are proposing... Read more →


Additional $47M to 7 ARPA-E SCALEUP projects; $27M to 3 advanced battery projects for EVs and electric aviation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding an additional $47 million in funding for seven projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program. Three of the projects (Sila, 24M and Ionic Materials) are scaling up... Read more →


Neste and Avfuel Corporation announced a strategic partnership to create an efficient, continuous supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the United States. Neste will provide Avfuel with SAF in volumes able to meet the growing demands of Avfuel’s customers, including fixed base operators (FBOs), airports, flight departments, original equipment... Read more →


Archer, a manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have entered into a definitive agreement to enable Archer to benefit from access to FCA’s low-cost supply chain, advanced composite material capabilities, and engineering and design experience. The new partnership will help accelerate Archer’s... Read more →


Israel-based Urban Aeronautics Ltd. reached an agreement to provide four CityHawk VTOL aircraft to Hatzolah Air for emergency medical service (EMS) applications. In addition, Hatzolah Air will become Urban Aeronautics’ official sales representative and distribution channel to other EMS and Rescue organizations worldwide. In August 2020, the two companies signed... Read more →


Amazon announced its first purchase—rather than a lease—of eleven Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The purchases include seven aircraft from Delta and four aircraft from WestJet; the aircraft will join the Amazon network by 2022. Amazon Air’s fleet expansion comes at a time when customers are relying on fast, free shipping more... Read more →


Airbus is conducting studies to determine how scalable a hydrogen fuel cell “pod” configuration, among others, could be to large commercial aircraft. The aviation industry has developed numerous configurations—twinjet, s-duct, winglets, contra-rotating propellers—over the last five decades that have enabled aircraft to fly higher, faster and longer. Now, Airbus engineers... Read more →


Global aviation data firm Cirium released its new Airline Insights Review 2020 which reveals the deep impact on aviation of worldwide travel restrictions to curb COVID-19. The report shows that the pandemic and its consequences wiped out 21 years of global passenger traffic growth in a matter of months, reducing... Read more →


The MAHEPA consortium announced that technology developed as part of the project has been successfully proven in flight on board the Hy4 fuel cell hybrid electric aircraft (earlier post). The sixth-generation of hydrogen propulsion has been completely revised from 2016 to 2020, according to aviation requirements. As part of the... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This action will align US standards with the international carbon dioxide emissions standards already set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In its technical support document for... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a method to convert CO2 directly into aviation fuel using a novel, inexpensive iron-based catalyst. The catalyst shows a carbon dioxide conversion through hydrogenation to hydrocarbons in the aviation jet fuel range of 38.2%, with a yield of 17.2%, and a selectivity... Read more →


Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has signed an agreement to supply SAF to DHL Express, the express service arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, world’s leading mail and logistics company. The DHL Group is a pioneer of green logistics, utilizing its expertise... Read more →


Electric motor company Aeristech expanding into aviation; HyFlyer II partnership

Aeristech, a developer of electric motor technology, is expanding into aerospace. Aeristech’s aerospace facility will enable the company to begin offering its expertise in market-leading power-dense electric motors and motor controllers to the aerospace sector, including for hydrogen fuel-cell compressors, which will make it possible to reduce aviation emissions. Aeristech’s... Read more →


ZeroAvia secures £12.3M UK Government grant to bring 19-seat hydrogen-electric aviation powertrain to market; HyFlyer II

ZeroAvia, an innovator in decarbonizing commercial aviation, secured £12.3 million (US$16.6 million) in UK Government funding through the ATI Program to deliver a breakthrough 19-seat hydrogen-electric powered aircraft that is market-ready by 2023: the HyFlyer II project. To accomplish this, ZeroAvia will collaborate with two partners, the European Marine Energy... Read more →


Lockheed Martin to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne in $5.0B all-cash transaction

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Lockheed Martin Corporation in an all-cash transaction with a total equity value of $5.0 billion. Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and... Read more →


Grön Fuels, LLC’s renewable diesel and jet fuel option facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge is based on Topsoe’s proprietary HydroFlex hydrotreating and H2bridge hydrogen technologies, including an option to capture ~1 million tons per year of bio-CO2 for carbon sequestration in suitable deep saline aquifers located below... Read more →


British Airways (BA) has teamed up with ZeroAvia, a leading innovator in decarbonizing commercial aviation (earlier post), in a project to explore how hydrogen-powered aircraft can play a leading role in the future of sustainable flying. The collaboration, which reflects the importance of sustainability at British Airways, will see ZeroAvia... Read more →


Hyundai Motor to accelerate transition into smart mobility solution provider

Hyundai Motor Company announced an updated roadmap for its future business Strategy 2025 at the 2020 CEO Investor Day’\ forum held virtually in Seoul. The comprehensive mid- to long-term strategy reinforces Hyundai’s plan to lead the future mobility industry as a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. The updated Strategy 2025 roadmap... Read more →


Ricardo: e-fuels better focused on aviation and shipping rather than road

A new Ricardo report finds that the use of synthesized e-fuels should be prioritized for shipping and aviation ahead of road transport where other forms of electrification are more effective. The report, Renewable electricity requirements to decarbonize transport in Europe with electric vehicles, hydrogen and electrofuels, was produced on behalf... Read more →


Altair submits LCFS application for fuel pathways for rewewable diesel, jet and naphtha: 19.51 gCO2e/MJ

Altair Paramount, LLC (Altair) has applied for California LCFS fuel pathways for renewable diesel, renewable naphtha and renewable jet fuels derived from rendered animal fat feedstock and processed at their facility in Paramount, California. Altair sources rendered inedible animal fat from an integrated meatpacking and rendering facility owned by JBS1... Read more →


Researchers from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) have developed an efficient three-step process for the conversion of cellulosic feedstocks to both a valuable chemical precursor and high-performance jet fuel blendstock. Their paper appears in the journal ChemSusChem. In it, the team describes the synthesis of sustainable methylcyclopentadiene... Read more →


Workhorse Group Inc., a company focused on providing drone-integrated electric vehicles to the last mile delivery sector, has submitted its formal Type Certification application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the HorseFly Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). A type certificate signifies the airworthiness of a particular category of aircraft according... Read more →


Neste and ANA collaborate on first supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Asia

Neste and All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and a 5-Star airline, are entering a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply agreement. ANA will become the first airline to use SAF on flights departing from Japan; the agreement also represents Neste’s first SAF supply to an Asian airline. Initial operations will... Read more →


Wright selected for ARPA-E electric aircraft program

Wright Electric announced that the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has selected Wright for a contract to support the development of innovative, lightweight, and ultra-efficient electric propulsion motors, drives, and associated thermal management systems for commercial electric aircraft. The foundation of Wright’s Wright 1 zero-emissions 186-seat... Read more →


Rolls-Royce has completed testing of the technology that will power the world’s fastest all-electric plane. All the technology has been tested on a full-scale replica of the plane’s core—called an ‘ionBird’—including a 500hp electric powertrain powerful enough to set world speed records and a battery with enough energy to supply... Read more →


PT Pertamina (Persero)—the national oil company of Indonesia—will use Honeywell UOP technologies to produce advanced biofuels at its Plaju and Cilacap refineries in Indonesia. The company will use UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process technology at its Plaju refinery in Palembang, South Sumatra, and UOP Ecofining technology at its Cilacap refinery... Read more →


ZeroAvia recently completed the first hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft. The flight took place at the company’s R&D facility in Cranfield, England, with the Piper M-class six-seat plane completing taxi, takeoff, a full pattern circuit, and landing. This milestone on the road to commercial zero-emission flight is part of... Read more →


Anticipating increasing desire from airlines to reduce emissions, Neste and Shell Aviation have entered into a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply agreement. This agreement significantly increases the supply and availability of SAF for the aviation industry with effect from October 2020. It brings together Neste’s expertise in the production and... Read more →


Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035. All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source—an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for... Read more →


Hyundai Motor to accelerate urban air mobility test flights in partnership with Incheon Airport, Hyundai Construction, KT

Hyundai Motor Company is partnering with Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC), Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and KT Corp. to accelerate the development of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) (earlier post) and work together to conduct test flights. With a memorandum of understanding signed on 18 September, the four parties will... Read more →


Sweden introduces GHG reduction mandate for aviation fuel for 2021, increasing to 27% in 2030

Sweden has an ambitious target of being fossil-free by 2045. As a part of the initiative, the Swedish Government announced on 11 September the introduction of a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction mandate for aviation fuel sold in Sweden in 2021. The reduction level will be 0.8% in 2021, and gradually... Read more →


LiquidPiston, Inc., a developer of advanced rotary internal combustion engines for diesel and jet fuels (earlier post), received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the US Army for the development of its X-Engine as a hybrid-electric propulsion platform for UAVs. The company showcased its X-Engine powered... Read more →


Prometheus Fuels licenses ORNL ethanol-to-jet-fuel process

Prometheus Fuels has licensed an ethanol-to-jet-fuel conversion process developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The ORNL technology will enable cost-competitive production of jet fuel and co-production of butadiene for use in renewable polymer synthesis. The mission of Prometheus Fuels, a startup based in Santa... Read more →


A new analysis of commercial aircraft fuel efficiency from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) finds that the UN’s aircraft CO2 standard lags current technology by more than a decade. The ICCT first analyzed the historical trends in fuel efficiency improvement of new commercial jet aircraft in 2009. In... Read more →


Aviation accounts for 3.5% of the human-made climate impact; two-thirds of this impact are caused by emissions other than CO2, according to a new study by researchers in Europe and the US. The study was published in the journal Atmospheric Environment This new study is based on a thorough review... Read more →


DOE awarding $33M for carbon-neutral hybrid electric aviation

The US Department of Energy announced $33 million in funding for 17 projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Aviation-class Synergistically Cooled Electric-motors with iNtegrated Drives (ASCEND) and Range Extenders for Electric Aviation with Low Carbon and High Efficiency (REEACH) programs. ASCEND projects work to develop innovative,... Read more →


Reaction Engines Ltd and Rolls-Royce plc announced a new strategic partnership agreement to develop high-speed aircraft propulsion systems and explore applications for Reaction Engines’ thermal management technology within civil and defence aerospace gas turbine engines and hybrid-electric systems. We have been working closely with Reaction Engines for the past two... Read more →


Reaction Engines, STFC complete proof-of-concept study on ammonia fuel for sustainable aviation propulsion

Reaction Engines recently completed a joint Proof-of-Concept study with the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to determine whether the company’s innovative thermal management technology could be combined with STFC’s catalysts to create an aviation system based on ammonia fuel. In recent years, ammonia has been considered by various... Read more →


FAA awards $7.5M in research grants for integration of drones into national airspace

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $7.5 million in research, education, and training grants to universities that comprise the agency’s Air Transportation Center of Excellence (COE) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). This $7.5-million federal investment... Read more →


Gevo and Trafigura enter into long-term contract for low-carbon premium gasoline and sustainable aviation fuel; 25M gpy

Gevo, Inc. entered into a binding renewable hydrocarbons purchase and sale agreement with Trafigura Trading LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trafigura Group Pte Ltd. The agreement is a long-term, take-or-pay contract and is the largest contract in Gevo’s history. Trafigura is one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies... Read more →


The Business Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF Coalition) released a new informational guide detailing how industry leaders can incorporate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into their operations and accelerate the adoption of low-carbon fuels, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Coalition also reported that it has a new... Read more →


Air bp and Neste agree to offer a five-fold increase in volume of sustainable aviation fuel in Europe

Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced from waste and residue raw materials and Air bp, the international aviation fuel products and services supplier, have signed an agreement to offer an increased volume of sustainable aviation fuel to airport customers in 2020 and... Read more →


Gevo and Praj to commercialize sustainable aviation fuel in India

Gevo, Inc. and Praj Industries Ltd. signed a binding, definitive Master Framework Agreement (MFA) to collaborate on providing renewable, low carbon, low particulate, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and renewable premium gasoline in India and neighboring countries. This follows an earlier announcement in April 2019 between both parties regarding the commercialization... Read more →


Neste supplying sustainable aviation fuel to three major US airlines for flights from SFO

Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced from waste and residue raw materials, is supplying Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways with sustainable aviation fuel for flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The low-carbon and high-quality fuel will contribute to each... Read more →


Hermeus Corporation, an aerospace start-up developing Mach 5 commercial aircraft, has won a $1.5-million SBIR Phase II award with the US Air Force and the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate to work toward hypersonic travel for the Department of Defense. This award comes under an Other Transaction For Prototype Agreement... Read more →


A new report from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO shows that clean hydrogen can significantly reduce aviation emissions with potential benefits seen within five years. The report, Opportunities for hydrogen in commercial aviation, which had technical input and funding from The Boeing Company, finds that growing hydrogen industry momentum could... Read more →


Although intermetallic alloys potentially have high strength in a high-temperature environment, they generally suffer poor ductility at ambient and low temperatures, hence limiting their applications in aerospace and other engineering fields. Now, researchers led by scientists of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have discovered that adding a small amount... Read more →


Toray to supply carbon fiber composite materials for Lilium’s all-electric air vehicle

Toray Industries concluded an agreement with Lilium GmbH to supply carbon fiber composite materials for the Lilium Jet. (Earlier post.) The Lilium Jet is a five-seater, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically and is designed to provide high-speed regional connections of up to 300km in under 60... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This proposed action would align US standards with the international CO2 emissions standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2017, making domestically manufactured aircraft competitive... Read more →