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All About SAF.

What is SAF?

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a liquid fuel currently used in commercial aviation. SAF is capable of reducing the aviation industry's CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

What is SAF made from?

A variety of sources (feedstock) can be used to produce SAF, including, but not limited to vegetable and bean oils, waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste and non-food crops. It can also be produced synthetically via a process that captures carbon directly from the air

Why is SAF sustainable?

SAF is sustainable because the raw feedstock does not compete with food crops or water supplies nor is it responsible for forest degradation. Whereas fossil fuels add to the overall level of CO2 by emitting carbon that had been previously locked away, SAF produced from sustainable feedstocks closes the carbon cycle, resulting in significantly lower CO2 emissions compared to petroleum-based aviation fuel. 

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How can SAF make a difference?

It is estimated that SAF could contribute up to 65% of the reduction in emissions needed by the aviation industry in order to reach net-zero by 2050. This will require a massive increase in production capabilities and infrastructure.

The largest acceleration is expected to happen in the 2030s as policy support for SAF becomes global, SAF competes with fossil kerosene, and credible offsets become scarcer.

SAF is considered a 'drop-in' fuel, which means it does not require specific infrastructure and can be blended into traditional jet fuel, currently up to 50%. 

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SAF Milestones

2008

First test flight with biojet fuel is performed by Virgin Atlantic.

2017

The IATA AGM in Cancun sees IATA members unanimously agree on the deployment of SAF.

2021

The 77th IATA AGM in Boston approved a resolution for the global air transport industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

2011 - 2015

Passenger flights are performed using up to 50% biojet fuel. Feedstock include used cooking oil, jatropha, camelina, algae.

2019

More than 45 airlines and 250,000 commercial flights gain experience using SAF.

2022

Adoption of a Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 at the 41st International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly. 

 

SAF production tripled to 300 million liters from 100 million liters in 2021. 

 

2016

United becomes the first airline to introduce SAF into normal business operations.

2020

Two new technical SAF certifications are approved by ASTM. Approved technical pathways for SAF production increase to seven.

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