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Assessment on alternative aviation fuels development

Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
European Comission
Funding entity code
2.748.244,00 €
Start date
End date
Air Pollutant Emissions, Alternative Jet Fuel Pathways, Life Cycle Analysis
It is widely accepted that the use of sustainable fuels, with a Life-cycle carbon footprint substantially smaller than the present
fossil-origin kerosene, is the most promising and probably the only short-medium time measure allowing the aviation industry
to reduce its emissions, helping to reach 2015 Paris Agreement targets.
During the last 10 years, many tests have been done with different drop-in organic products with high level of success.
Present commercial aircraft engines are certified for using a mix of up to 50% of some of these new products. More
additional research is still going on the convenience of developing new feedstocks and on their potential climate change
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is now discussing the best way to standardise the Life-cycle Analysis
(LCA) of the most readily available products and what is the best certification procedures. This process is needed in order to
apply CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), approved in October 2016, intending to
stabilize international aviation carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at 2020 levels.
However, none of those new organic-origin fuels has proved the means to be produced in an economically competitive way
versus fossil kerosene. It is generally accepted that some type of incentive mechanism needs to be implemented to make
sustainable fuel attractive for the airlines in addition to the CORSIA and European Trading System provisions.
As the result of this Chinese and European cooperation proposal, some possibilities appear for a wider aviation sustainable
fuel utilisation, considering both technical and economic areas, including the possible use of more feedstocks and production
pathways than the existing ones. New fuel candidates will be evaluated in this project according to improved modelling
methods, considering LCA optimization, climate change effects and technical and economic consequences of their use.