As travelling picks up in the aftermath of the epidemic, the difficult-to-decarbonize aviation industry will return to contributing around 3% of total world GHG emissions. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production is critical to decreasing the aviation industry’s lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional fuel, allowing the globe to fly while polluting significantly less.
As new legislative measures and high CO2 targets are implemented, demand for SAF in the Netherlands and the other EU Member States is projected to skyrocket. New production methods are thus vital to increasing SAF supply; there are several technologies at varying degrees of maturity, and it is critical to create as many as feasible as soon as possible to fulfil expanding demand.
With favourable support envisaged under Renewable Transport Fuels laws, the manufacture of SAF from low-grade, post-recycling mixed trash has become an alternative.
Given the foregoing – and Enerkem’s and Shell’s ability to provide an end-to-end technical solution for converting difficult-to-recycle waste into jet fuel by combining Enerkem’s waste gasification technology and Shell’s Fischer-Tropsch technology – the project partners have decided to repurpose the current project to focus on SAF production. The project would process up to 360,000 tonnes of recycling rejects per year and create up to 80,000 tonnes of renewable goods, about 75 per cent of which may be SAF and the remaining used for transportation fuels or to feed cyclical chemical manufacturing.
The combination of Enerkem’s technology and Shell’s Fischer-Tropsch technology offers an unusual and promising approach. The Enerkem platform turns garbage into ultra-clean syngas. The Fischer-Tropsch technique developed by Shell has the potential to turn these syngas into sustainable aviation fuel. The Port of Rotterdam will also continue to be a partner, as the development of large-scale circular facilities is a key component of the Port Authority’s strategy. Air Liquide has indicated to Waste-to-Jet participants that it is interested in participating in the project as an industrial gas supplier.
The revamped project is now being developed, and the partners – Enerkem, Shell, and the Port of Rotterdam – want to submit a permit application for the revised project by the end of 2021.
If a final investment decision is made, the building of the project might take around three years, with production commencing in 2025 or 2026.
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