The first test flight to demonstrate the potential for converting methanol to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has been conducted in Dubai on the sidelines of COP28 in the UAE.
This flight was made possible by the cooperation of Masdar, TotalEnergies, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus, Falcon Aviation Services, and technology licensor Axens.
The Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene Pathway (ATJ-SPK) was certified in 2016 as meeting international standards for jet fuel. However, methanol is not currently included in the list of specified alcohols.
This test flight, which used a blend of aviation fuel made from olefins, will help support the certification of this new pathway for SAF production from methanol. This is a significant development as it opens up the potential for SAF to be derived from renewable electricity, leading to the production of eSAF, an essential lever in the global effort to decarbonize aviation.
SAF has huge potential for reducing the hard-to-abate aviation sector’s carbon emissions, and Masdar is proud to support the development and growth of this sector. It is a sign of our commitment that we have forged several strategic partnerships in this area,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.
TotalEnergies has also played a crucial role in this milestone. Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies, stated that “as industry and energy companies, our collective job is to work on the next generation of clean aviation fuels that could complement SAF currently produced from used cooking oil.” He also emphasized the importance of this novel pathway to jets, through e-SAF, in supporting the decarbonization of the aviation industry.