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Overview

author

Alex Cardoso
Kierra McDougall

published on

February 2024

Series

4 / 5 Series

Introduction

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) are a promising renewable energy alternative to traditional fossil jet fuels. These novel fuel types are derived from either biological or synthetic feedstocks, which produce 85% less carbon emissions than traditional jet fuels over their life cycle [1]. Furthermore, SAFs can be produced without sulfur or nitrogen, while also burning cleaner than traditional fossil jet fuels with a higher “energy content” [2]. Another advantage of these sustainable fuels is their high blending properties, which enables mixing with up to 50% kerosene [3]. Currently, SAF must be blended with this conventional jet fuel to ensure compatibility with existing aircraft engines. Military aircrafts with newer engines have shown robust performance with 100% SAF; it is expected that eventually the blend limit will increase to 100% SAF composition as engine design advances. When blended, SAF meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications for jet fuels, enabling integration of this sustainable fuel source with current air transport infrastructure [4].

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