Directional Aviation and Alder Fuels Collaborate for First Business Aviation Offtake Partner Agreement for SAF 2.0

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by KnowESG
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Directional Aviation invests in green crude developer Alder Fuels. As part of the agreement, the two companies will pilot a blockchain-powered transparency platform to document SAF production and industry adoption. The cutting-edge solution will increase transparency surrounding SAF production and document compliance with regulatory programmes, ESG targets, and carbon reduction milestones for the aviation sector.

Alder Fuels creates a low-carbon to carbon-negative green crude from sustainable biomass, such as regenerative grasses, forest wastes, and agricultural waste products, that can be transformed into SAF using existing bio and petroleum refinery infrastructure.

Unlike first-generation SAF, which was predominantly derived from non-scalable supplies of fats, oils, and grease, these biomass sources are abundant and, when repurposed, can contribute to soil regeneration and wildfire mitigation.

When the carbon life cycle of fuel is calculated from field to wingtip across diverse biomass sources, AGC-derived SAF can achieve greenhouse gas reductions of more than 80% compared to petroleum jet fuel. 

When using regenerative crops, the process, which has been validated by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Laboratory (NREL), could be carbon negative. SAF generated from AGC will meet existing aviation specifications and is now being certified globally as a 100 per cent drop-in replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel. Flexjet will be the first commercial aviation company to use this SAF as part of the deal.

Kenneth C. Ricci, Principal, Directional Aviation, said: 

"Our investment in Alder Fuels and partnership on advancing the use of digital technology to document SAF use is an example of private aviation leading the way on sustainability commitments and identifying solutions to reduce carbon emissions that aid the entire aviation industry.

“As we make the transition from fossil to sustainable energy throughout our economy, transparency is critical. It is how we engender trust and integrity to strengthen the adoption curve – and that is exactly what we are working towards at Alder Fuels,” said Bryan Sherbacow, Chief Executive Officer and President of Alder Fuels. “This partnership will demonstrate exactly how fuel is sourced, developed, and deployed—from the sustainable biomass provider to the wingtip. We are thrilled to test and trial the technology against our offtake agreement with Flexjet and are incredibly grateful to Directional Aviation for their financial support and industry leadership.”

4AIR and Alder will coordinate the use of blockchain technology tools to account for any emission claims resulting from the usage of the SAF, creating the records and transparency required for compliance with regulatory frameworks, ESG standards, and other sustainability obligations. 

This application of digital technology for the aviation business has enormous potential. Public blockchains are a game-changing technical platform for documenting supply chains and tracking physical asset ownership. 

They can also be used to verify and confirm the renewable fuel supply chain and emissions outputs. They can, for example, improve the book-and-claim model of SAF use, which separates a company's or customer's sustainability claim from the physical flow of these commodities.

Kennedy Ricci, 4AIR’s president, said: 

"Our goal at 4AIR is to make sustainability as simple and cost-effective as possible to promote its growth. The use of blockchain technology to transparently and permanently record the use of sustainable aviation fuel is an innovative application that will help users with regulatory and voluntary compliance and provide greater transparency about SAF’s benefits as a way to reduce climate-changing aircraft carbon emissions.”

Through this partnership between Directional and Alder Fuels, Flexjet will be the first business aviation offtake partner for AGC, advancing Flexjet towards its goal of having 12 per cent of its annual fuel consumption come from SAF by 2030.

Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro said: 

"Flexjet has achieved carbon-neutral flight operations for the past two years, purchasing credits to offset emissions from all flights booked by our aircraft Owners worldwide. However, we have wanted to take the next step, not merely offsetting emissions but actually reducing them directly in our operations by taking tangible steps today. The use of SAF produced with Alder’s cutting-edge green crude will help us achieve this goal, maintaining our leadership on aviation sustainability, and the transparency tool developed by Alder Fuels and 4AIR will serve as a real-world proof of concept.”

Recognising that increasing SAF production is vital to attaining such ambitious climate objectives, the White House established the "SAF Grand Challenge," to produce 3 billion gallons of SAF in the United States by 2030, increasing to 35 billion gallons by 2050. 

The recent enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act into law strengthens the United States' commitment to SAF by offering tax credits for every gallon produced that reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 50% or more as compared to petroleum jet fuel.

Source: Alder Fuels

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