Shell is the first to supply Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in Singapore, working towards having net zero emissions by 2050.
During a briefing at The Singapore Airshow, Doris Tan, who is Shell’s Head of Aviation for the Asia Pacific and the Middle East, stated:
“We have delivered some (SAF) to our customers SIA Engineering Company and the Republic of Singapore Air Force,”
Jan Toschka, the President of Shell Aviation, added:
“Alongside investing in our capabilities to produce SAF, we are also focused on developing the regional infrastructure needed to get the fuel to our customers at their key locations,”
In 2017, Shell first announced its vision of reducing its net carbon footprint. Shell explains their goal on their website:
“We are working to offer customers more, lower-carbon products, from renewable electricity to hydrogen. We aim to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy products we sell by 30% by 2035 and by 65% by 2050 compared with 2016, keeping in pace with society.”
By 2025, Shell hopes to produce 2 million metric tonnes of SAF annually.
What is SAF?
Sustainable Aviation Fuel is produced from sustainable sources like ethanol, used waste oils, and animal fats, resulting in an 80% reduction in carbon emissions and harmful particles compared to standard jet fuel. SAF also has a higher energy density and better efficiency than standard/fossil jet fuel, with studies showing a 1.5%-3% improved fuel efficiency.
The oxygen is extracted from the waste oils (deoxygenation) before going through a hydroprocessing phase to produce pure hydrocarbon fuel. The final SAF product will be a 50/50% blend of SAF combined with fossil jet fuel.
To date, more than 150,000 flights have been powered by SAF. More than ten years ago, KLM was the first commercial airline to fly using SAF.
Future of SAF
With the global aviation industry currently accounting for 2.1% of all human-caused carbon emissions, it’s crucial to seek a more sustainable future for air travel; the use of SAF by more airlines and companies will help achieve this goal.
Rebecca Tearle from GlobalData states her opinion on the future of SAF:
“Success in the research into 100% SAF jet engines by companies like Airbus and Rolls-Royce can allow for SAF to maintain a strong position even with the introduction of hydrogen and electric aircraft, that need special storage tanks or batteries which add considerably to aircraft weight. It is also highly likely that current technology can be repurposed, or modified minimally, rather than requiring completely new infrastructure.” She added, “looking to the future, it is likely SAF will have a place alongside both hydrogen and electric aircraft which is demonstrated by the research done into all three technologies by the major players in aircraft manufacturing. These three individual technologies will provide their own advantages, with aircraft of the future likely to have the fuel most suited to their application.”
What do you think the future holds for a more sustainable aviation industry? Let us know in the comments below.