Sustainable low carbon aviation fuels are foreseen to play an important role in reducing aviation GHG emissions. Renewable synthetic kerosene can be produced from biomass feedstock and from renewable electricity combined with CO2 (or CO) from a range of sources.
E4tech undertook an in depth study to assess the energy, CO2 and cost implications of renewable and low carbon synthetic kerosene production, providing an evidence base to inform policy-making in this area. International and national policies are being developed to reduce aviation GHG emissions, including the Netherlands’ draft Civil Aviation Policy Memorandum 2020-2050 aimed at GHG emissions reduction targets and this study offers insights into the benefits of synthetic routes.
The study had three principal objectives:
- Establish and compare the resource use, GHG emissions and production costs of different synthetic kerosene production routes;
- Examine, the potential GHG savings that can be delivered and the abatement costs in the context of resource availability and competition;
- Evaluate the potential scale-up and availability of synthetic kerosene and business case that would underpin its commercialisation.
A wide range of synthetic kerosene routes was modelled including those using hydrogen from “green” (renewable power) and “blue” (abated natural gas) sources combined with CO2 (or CO) captured from biogenic and fossil point-sources or direct air capture.
GHG abatement costs for FT routes
The study concluded that while “green” routes were currently more costly than “blue” routes, these costs are likely to converge over time and that while “green” routes can offer substantial cuts in aviation emissions “blue” routes only offer modest savings. Resource constraints for either type of route are not expected to be a critical barrier to expansion to 2030 and the ramp-up analysis points to capacity of 966 ktonnes/year in Europe by 2030 and 1.3 million tonnes/year globally by 2030.
The report has been published by the Dutch government and can be downloaded from here. For more information on E4tech’s low carbon fuels activities, please check here and here, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.