Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian consortium produces sustainable aviation fuel

The SAF+ Consortium aims to bring to market synthetic kerosene with 80 per cent less carbon footprint compared to fossil kerosene.

September 14, 2021  by CM Staff

The Montreal-based SAF+ Consortium says it has produced one of the first examples in North America of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) known as Power-to-Liquids (PtL).

In a Sept. 14 news release, SAF+ said the production took place in its pilot factory, located at the ParaChem industrial site, east of Montreal.

SAF+ aims to bring to market, by 2025-2026, synthetic kerosene whose carbon footprint is reduced by 80 per cent compared to fossil kerosene. PtL is an e-fuel consisting of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) synthesized with renewable (green) hydrogen. The process involves capturing CO2 from large industrial emitters and converting it into an alternative fuel.

“These first litres of e-fuel represent a historic moment and an important milestone for SAF+” said Jean Paquin, president and CEO of the SAF+ Consortium. “As the airline industry aims to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce kerosene consumption, SAF + stands out as a pioneer in the field of sustainable aviation fuel in Canada. For us, e-fuel is the way to go in the aviation industry if we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially.”

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The SAF+ Consortium brings together several Quebec-based aerospace companies and research institutions, such as Air Transat, Hydro-Quebec, Aéroports de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, and Aéro Montréal. The consortium aims to make Montreal into a sustainable aviation hub through the construction and subsequent operation of a pilot SAF production plant.

“Airbus is fully committed to the decarbonization of air transport and believes that [SAFs] have the potential to become a major driver in reducing CO2 emissions in commercial aviation – for existing fleets and future,” said Steven Le Moing, head of the New Energies program at Airbus. “The SAF is a ready-to-use solution for the airline industry today. Our planes are already capable of integrating a mixture of up to 50 per cent of SAF and our goal is to achieve 100 per cent compatibility by 2030, knowing that these SAFs can today reduce emissions by 80 per cent of CO2 (over the life cycle) and be close in the future to 100 per cent with e-fuels produced with green hydrogen and carbon capture.”