New publication identifies the R&D Priorities to drive the sustainable aviation fuel industry in the UK

Posted on: 14/03/2019

A new publication has been released today, to help focus investment priorities and accelerate innovation & commercialisation of new fuels by airlines.

Today, KTN launches a new publication РResearch and Development priorities to support a UK sustainable aviation fuel industry – to help focus investment priorities and accelerate innovation and commercialisation of new fuels through to offtake by airlines.

The publication was developed by members of Sustainable Aviation with additional input from the Department of Transport, Ministry of Defence, NNFCC and Joanna Bauldreay. Four main themes were identified along the supply chain as being critical to accelerating the SAF industry in the UK:


1.   Feedstock & Sustainability

2.   Process & economics

3.   Infrastructure

4.   Technical specification


Industry is keen to raise awareness of the need to focus on supporting the whole supply chain from early stage feedstock research to ensuring the UK has strong capabilities to conduct fit for purpose testing on new fuels. Focusing effort and investment on upstream R&D carries significant risk, whereas supporting the whole process to include fit for purpose testing will expedite the market entry of the new fuels.

The UK imports 70% of aviation turbine fuel and whilst developments and investment support aircraft electrification, in the short-term liquid fuel will remain a requirement for regional aircraft but critical for longer haul flights where electrification is not an option. Indigenous production of sustainable liquid fuels is needed now to ensure fuel resilience and significant import substitution. They are also required to ensure the UK is meeting carbon emission targets set by ICAO (50% reduction by 2050) plus support the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.

The 12-page document was created by KTN’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Special Interest Group (SAF SIG) on behalf of industry and government and can be downloaded here.

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