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Sustainable Aviation Fuel


Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has partnered with several Indian airlines, including Boeing, Indigo, Spicejet, Air India, Vistara, and AirAsia India to support the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
  2. Challenges Associated with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

About Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is also known as bio-jet fuel.
  • SAF is created domestically using cooking oil and oil-rich seeds from plants.
Creation of SAF
  • SAF samples produced by institutes undergo strict testing at the US Federal Aviation Administration Clearinghouse.
  • SAF is created using different materials such as non-edible and edible oils, as well as used cooking oil.
  • Various sources used for SAF creation include palm stearin, sapium oil, palm fatty acid distillates, algae oil, karanja, and jatropha.
Benefits of SAF
  • Scaling up production and use of SAF in India can bring several benefits.
  • SAF can reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, enhance energy security, create jobs in the renewable energy sector, and promote sustainable development.
  • Use of SAF can help the aviation industry meet environmental targets and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.
Use of SAF
  • Biofuel for aviation can be mixed with regular jet fuel and used together.
  • Compared to traditional fuel, SAF has lower sulfur content, which can decrease air pollution and support India’s goal of achieving Net Zero emissions.

Challenges Associated with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

  • High Production Cost: The cost of producing SAF is currently higher than traditional jet fuel, making it less economically viable for airlines to invest in SAF production and use.
  • Limited Infrastructure: There is limited infrastructure for the production, storage, and distribution of SAF, making it difficult to scale up production and supply of SAF.
  • Limited Feedstock: The availability of feedstock for SAF production is limited, and there is competition for resources between other industries, such as the food and agriculture sectors.
  • Complex Certification Process: The certification process for SAF is complex and time-consuming, and there is a lack of globally recognized standards for SAF production.
  • Lack of Public Awareness and Support: There is a need to raise public awareness and understanding of the benefits of SAF and to encourage greater support from policymakers and investors.

-Source: Down to Earth

March 2024