What does a bio-jet fuel, or sustainable aviation fuel, expert do? We must start with the understanding that aviation is a disproportionate contributor to the carbon footprint, making it a major target for greenhouse gas reduction. Improvements in efficiency are not likely to reduce the required energy and weight requirements, normally dictating the use of high-density liquids as the best approach. Electrically driven commercial planes are well in the future, if ever. However, replacing current fossil fuels with sustainable biomass-derived fuels is significantly reducing GHG and shows much promise for the future.
A bio-jet fuel expert needs to be knowledgeable about the different approaches currently approved. These include gasification & Fischer Tropsch (FT-SPK), hydroprocessing F.O.G. (HEFA-SPK), hydroprocessing of fermented sugars (HFS-SIP), Fischer-Tropsch with Aromatics (FT-SPK/A), thermochemical conversion of isobutanol to Jet (ATJ SPK). They should also be knowledgeable about other approaches currently being considered, including catalytic hydro-thermolysis of lipids to jet fuel (alcohol to jet fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene), butanol or ethanol (synthetic kerosene/synthetic aromatic kerosene), catalytic conversion of sugars and aqueous phase reforming to jet fuel, hydro-treated esters and fatty acids+ (HEFA)+ – wider cut HEFA with renewable diesel, pyrolysis from lignocellulosic feedstocks, Fischer-Tröpsch synthetic kerosene with aromatics. Pathways in the future that could enter the pipeline include hydrothermal liquefaction of algae.
Each of these fuels presents opportunities and challenges in terms of feedstock sourcing, scale-up, production, and distribution. The key will always be lower production costs (to make these new sustainable aviation fuels more competitive with current fuels. Some of the challenges will be technical, while others will involve demonstrating suitability and ability to meet government mandates and regulations.
With over 150 consultants, Lee Enterprises Consulting has the diverse expertise and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project worldwide. Our highly qualified teams of experts bring a unique integration of technical, scientific, regulatory, and hands-on experience to any project. Look at our experts and the services we provide. Our experts are seasoned professionals, averaging over 30 years of industry experience. In larger projects, LEC can assemble full-service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact, and in smaller projects, we likely have just the right expertise. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. See a video about LEC here. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.