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The transportation sector accounts for 14% of the world's GHG emissions. This is why governments and states worldwide are taking measures to lower GHG emissions through subsidies and legislation. In fact, 137 countries have pledged to be carbon-neutral, and most are aiming for a year 2050 deadline. 


Aviation is responsible for 8% of the transport sector's emissions, so there is no way the aviation industry can fly under the radar. Change is coming, and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) will be in high demand. The demand for SAF is projected to be around 15 Mt in 2030 and 200 Mt in 2050, and in the long run, both biojet and eJet fuels are expected to overtake fossil jet fuel. 

So, will there be clear skies ahead?

According to the legislators, yes. Blending mandates for sustainable aviation fuel are being discussed and implemented globally. The EU aims for 65% in 2050, and some countries have stated even more ambitious SAF targets. And there is a strong interest from corporates, airlines, and cargo carriers to explore and increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel. 


SAF-Legislation figure map


As seen above, there are some regional differences concerning the SAF blending mandates, but the overall picture is clear. Change is on the horizon.

Feedstock availability can cause turbulence. 

SAF can be produced from various renewable feedstocks, including vegetable oils, waste oils and fats, solid biogenic waste, industrial flue gases, and CO2 , renewable electricity and water for example. As the market for and production of SAF will increase, so will the need for suitable feedstocks. Other segments and industries like road transport, marine fuel and petro-chemicals are pursuing the same feedstocks for different purposes. That can become a seriously limiting factor in reaching the goals.


What does this have to do with legislation, you might think? The use of feedstock, in particular first-generation bio-feedstock, is highly regulated in some parts of the world like the EU with direct implications for the biofuel production required to supply mandated volumes.



SAF-Legislation figure FEEDSTOCKS

New pathways and innovation are key.

Directives like the European Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) will limit the use of feedstocks that could be used for other purposes – like feeding a growing population. Specifically, the RED III includes sustainability criteria regarding indirect land use change (ILUC) and has caps on using edible oil for fuel production.

These and other regulations will limit feedstock use. This means that all pathways, technologies, and roads to producing fuels with the lowest carbon intensity need to be explored and developed to make ends meet.

Consider GHG savings and Carbon Intensity. 


Immediate GHG savings are still the priority when producing sustainable aviation fuels. The European Union is looking at savings targets like 65% for biojet fuel and 70% for eJet fuel. And the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) requires GHG reductions of at least 10% compared to the conventional aviation fuel.


SAF can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and even be carbon negative, depending on the production methods and use of feedstock and technology. But there are still emissions throughout the supply chain, and measuring the carbon intensity (CI) is necessary to fully evaluate the lifecycle GHG emissions from fuels. 


SAF-Legislation figure CO2


30068 Topsoe SAF Report A4 forside

Expert perspectives on Sustainable Aviation Fuel


We're here to get SAF off the ground. 


Every CO2 saving counts in the energy transition, and with the right technology and expertise, you can meet legislation and decarbonize profitably. 


We are happy to discuss how our range of proven technologies is ready to help you meet rising demand and produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel. From the market-leading HydroFlex™ technology to the single-point license G2L™ Biofuels  and  G2L™ eFuels, and our new MTJet™ Biofuels and MTJet™ eFuels,  we have mapped out your optimal routes to achieving feedstock flexibility while ensuring compliance with legislation.

SAF-Legislation figure LAST ONE


Knowledge Special: SAF TALKSTM

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) continues to be recognized as a crucial solution for driving down the CO2 emissions of the aviation industry. And yet, SAF currently accounts for less than 1% of the global jet fuel consumption. 

To fuel knowledge sharing of what it'll take to scale-up SAF, we've composed a second season of SAF TalksTM filmed during our second SAF Summit in Copenhagen in November 2023.

In a total of 9 bite-sized videos, frontrunners from across the SAF value chain share their latest trends and insights. And trust us! The industry is far from being at a standstill with numerous development underway...


Tell me how

Milica Folić

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