AMSTELVEEN, The Netherlands: The Swedish Energy Agency has awarded €500,000 to a Dutch-Swedish consortium including KLM to continue R&D into developing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The consortium also includes forestry group Södra, fossil-free energy provider Växjö Energi, SAF pioneer SkyNRG, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and green transport NGO 2030-sekretariatet.
Using technology based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, they plan to build a facility in the Växjö region of Småland, Sweden capable of producing 16,000 tonnes of high quality SAF annually from 2026.
According to KLM vice president Sustainability Karel Bockstael, current production technology based on used cooking oils will not be enough to meet future airline demand for SAF so the availability of large quantities of forest residues in Sweden and other parts of Northern Europe make it a promising scalable feedstock.
Aero engine manufacturer Rolls Royce says the current generation of SAF reduces lifecycle carbon emissions by up 70 percent but assumes this will increase to 100 percent.
The company acknowledges it is playing an active role in advocating 100 percent SAF for use in commercial aviation from the current 50 percent blend limit.
Lotta Lyrå, president and CEO of Södra, said using every part of a tree, including residues, is a goal of her 53,000 forest-owning members’ contribution to the climate transition.
“Making high quality SAF from forest residues not suitable for buildings or other materials is a way of doing so and help de-carbonize aviation. With this consortium, we are working through the entire value chain to take the next step towards creating a new industry of sustainable aviation fuel,” she added.
NGOs, the Swedish government, Södra, certification systems, academics and SkyNRG’s Sustainability Board will study the carbon balance and forest biodiversity as well as potential displacement effects of utilising residues for SAF production.
"The potential to use forestry residues for higher value end-uses, like SAF, is there,” commented SkyNRG managing director Maarten van Dijk, “But before taking a next step in scaling up, it is critical to make sure we understand the sustainability and impacts of this new, integrated supply chain.
"We are therefore very grateful for the strong partnership and financial support from the Swedish government to take a next big step in understanding the true potential of this feedstock/technology setup.”
Story Type: News