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CORE-JetFuel: Recommendations for future R&D in renewable aviation fuels

Central to the aviation industry’s sustainability strategy is the positive impact of renewable low-carbon fuels in the long-term future. The EU-funded coordinating action “CORE-JetFuel”1 was dedicated to support the European Commission in its implementation of a programmatic research and innovation agenda that develops sufficient quantities of carbon-neutral drop-in fuels in a cost-competitive manner.

Bauhaus Luftfahrt’s task was to evaluate the technical, economic, and environmental performance potentials of various production pathways currently under development. A multiple-criteria framework was developed and applied, and trade-off relations between risk and reward as well as cost and benefit were analysed.

As a result, high-impact production pathways were identified, which combine both superior life-cycle performance and substitution potential. Those are based either on lignocellulosic feedstock (including waste streams) or on non-bio production technologies. For the latter, it is recommended to support research dedicated to CO2 extraction from air as key enabling technology. As a price gap between conventional jet fuel and renewable alternatives is likely to remain at least in the medium-term future, appropriate regulatory and/or economic measures will be needed to provide a market environment where renewable fuels can be competitive. Based on the state of research and technology readiness, a set of detailed recommendations and roadmaps were developed in cooperation with the project partners2 to reap both medium-term and potential long-term benefits in a balanced approach.

 

1The project “CORE-JetFuel” (Coordinating research and innovation of jet and other sustainable aviation fuel, 2013–2016) received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no. 605716.
2Report accessible at: http://www.core-jetfuel.eu

  • Cost-benefit analysis based on specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: Specific GHG emissions versus cost of production of analysed production pathways, each relative to conventional jet fuelCost-benefit analysis based on specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: Specific GHG emissions versus cost of production of analysed production pathways, each relative to conventional jet fuel
  • Risk-reward analysis: The potential impact of GHG emissions reduction (derived from the product of specific GHG reduction potential and the global substitution potential) of fuel production technologies at different readiness levelsRisk-reward analysis: The potential impact of GHG emissions reduction (derived from the product of specific GHG reduction potential and the global substitution potential) of fuel production technologies at different readiness levels