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SkyNRG’s HIGFLY project: addressing challenges in unlocking the potential of lignocellulosic biomass

Scaling up production capacity for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF): How the ReFuelEU Mandate stimulates the implementation of advanced biobased pathways for SAF production post-2030.

The aviation sector needs to drastically reduce its emissions. To achieve this, IATA has set a 2050 goal of net-zero emissions for aviation, which has been widely adopted. However, to date, less than 1% of all fuel used on planes is SAF. Starting in 2025, the ReFuelEU mandate will require the addition of SAF in the jet fuel supply to European airports, with significant penalties for non-compliance. To ensure we can meet SAF demand, we urgently need to scale up production capacity with new advanced biobased pathways for SAF production post-2030.

On February 7th and 8th 2024, SkyNRG presented at the LIGNOFUELS conference which brought together stakeholders from advanced generation biofuel producers, oil refineries, process technology providers, enzyme developers, engineering firms and agribusiness as well as financiers, investors, policymakers and regulators, automotive and aviation industries, consultants, traders and brokers and chemical companies.

SkyNRG talked about the key role of lignocellulosic biomass in decarbonising the aviation industry. The main insights included how the ReFuelEU Mandate, set to kick in 2025, requires a share of SAF in the jet fuel supply to European airports, with significant penalties for non-compliance. And the anticipated demand to meet this mandate requires the implementation of advanced biobased pathways for SAF production post-2030.

We must address the challenges we currently encounter in unlocking the potential of lignocellulosic biomass. To do this, we need technology development to increase effective biomass use for SAF production and certification of novel pathways that can lead to the operation of commercial scale facilities. Government support in managing feedstock competition and fast-tracking technological developments was highlighted as essential in overcoming these challenges.

The HIGFLY Project´s innovative approach to SAF production can help provide solutions to these problems by converting C5 biorefinery waste streams into oxygenated intermediates that are suitable for jet fuel production. The project focuses on developing scalable catalysts, solvents, reactors, and processes to enhance resource, energy, and cost efficiency, with a targeted carbon efficiency of 70-90%.

Download SkyNRG´s full presentation here.


About SkyNRG:

SkyNRG is a global leader in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Since 2009, SkyNRG has been scaling up SAF demand and production capacity for the industry to meet its 2050 net zero commitment. SkyNRG was the first in the world to supply SAF on a commercial flight flown by co-founder and shareholder KLM in 2011. To date, SkyNRG has supplied SAF to over 40 airlines across the world and is now developing dedicated production facilities to support the shift from fossil jet fuel to sustainable aviation fuel. As a certified B Corp™ SkyNRG prioritizes producing the most responsible and sustainable SAF worldwide. Recognized as a sustainability leader, it maintains an independent Sustainability Board, which advises the company on feedstocks and provides strategic guidance on wide-ranging sustainability issues. SkyNRG’s operations are certified by RSB and CORSIA.

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