Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Vicky Bradley our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 07 August 2019

Environmental impact is increasingly important to many in all aspects of life – in particular, the concept of aviation sustainability. Sustainable aviation fuel is set to become a near reality, as companies begin to invest in production methods.


According to the Chemical Engineer, sustainable aviation fuel supplier (SAF) SkyNRG “will develop Europe’s first dedicated waste-to-fuel plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, capable of producing 100,000 t/y of SAF.” This is set to be the first European industrial plant that will produce sustainable aviation fuel, known as bio-kerosene. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines serves as one of the partners on this project, and has committed to purchasing 75,000 t/y for the next 10 years in order to tackle CO2 emissions.


Forbes state that “While at the moment emissions from aviation account for just 2% of total global emissions of C02, they are accelerating many times faster than other emitters and UN data project that aviation is on track to become the single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide within three decades.” Renewable Engineering is continually researching a path to a renewable energy for aviation, looking to reduce emission levels as much as possible. KLM explain that “from 2022, the plant will annually produce 100,000 tonnes of SAF, as well as 15,000 tonnes of bioLPG, as a by-product. It will mean a CO2 reduction of 270,000 tonnes a year for the aviation industry.” The engineering industry is continually reviewing effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions whilst maintaining quality. Sustainable aviation fuel is currently a short term alternative in reducing emissions, therefore this dedicated project (named DSL-01) will aim to meet the demands of the aviation industry in fuel production.


The sustainable airline fuel is capable of being produced by using regional waste and residue streams as feedstock. This can include products such as used cooking oil, waste that will come from regional industries. The facility itself is set to use renewable energy to power the plant. KLM reveal that “The facility will run on sustainable hydrogen, which is produced using water and wind energy. Thanks to these choices, this sustainable aviation fuel delivers a CO2 reduction of at least 85%, compared to fossil fuel.” Jobs in wind energy are increasing throughout the world, utilising the capabilities of renewables for this project increases the environmentally friendly image it promotes.


Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM, said: “The advent of aviation has had a major impact on the world, offering a new means of bringing people closer together. This privilege goes hand in hand with huge responsibility towards our planet. KLM takes this very seriously and has therefore invested in sustainability for many years. By joining hands with other parties, we can build a plant that will accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuel.”


The development involved in this project has the potential to transform the engineering industry and engineering recruitment jobs on a global scale. Wind farm recruitment opportunities are ever increasing, as are the renewables sector as a whole. As a wind power staffing agency, TRS have acquired a wealth of experience and project knowledge within the emerging market of power and renewable energy, making us the first choice for candidates and clients alike.


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