Ornskoldsvik (Sweden), January 30, 2024. A European consortium is working on reshaping the aviation industry by introducing innovative Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) production technology. The ALFAFUELS project aims to address the need for decarbonisation in the aviation sector and significantly reduce its environmental footprint by offering a novel approach that can play a key role in transitioning away from conventional fossil fuels in the mid and long term.

During 48 months, the project will implement a multi-approach by capturing and utilising CO₂, developing cost-effective and sustainable technological solutions at every stage of the process, and exploring integration possibilities with other sectors to overcome the current key challenges that difficult the technological maturity and commercialization of SAF. To face high production costs, sustainability issues, and technological constraints, ALFAFUELS will develop three technological innovations:

Microbial Production: This approach involves using microorganisms to convert CO₂ into a fuel precursor. Microorganisms perform this process sustainably, which means it has a lower environmental impact.

Solar-Powered Photochemistry: In this method, the energy of the sun is harnessed to convert CO₂-derived molecules into kerosene-like fuel. Instead of using conventional chemical methods, which can be costly and less environmentally friendly, this technique uses solar light to carry out the conversion.

Biorefinery Approach: Rather than wasting any part of the cells of microorganisms used in the process, all parts are used efficiently. This includes the production of starch and hydrogen indirectly from CO₂. In summary, resources are maximised, and waste is reduced.

ALFAFUELS elevates SAF production technologies by designing cost-efficient bioreactors, conducting pilot-scale trials on real, industrially relevant CO₂ streams, and evaluating the produced molecules according to the American Society for Testing and Materials standards. The project also investigates systemic barriers and opportunities for SAF technology implementation in Europe, involving industrial end-users to expedite scaling.

ALFAFUELS presents a unique and groundbreaking approach, utilizing innovative techniques to address the challenges of scaling up and ensuring sustainability in the production of algal renewable fuels. Through the adoption of cutting-edge production methods and a circular, zero-waste strategy, ALFAFUELS aims to reduce production costs and improve sustainability across the entire value chain.

In summary, this project will revolutionise the aviation industry by offering a more sustainable and economically viable alternative to traditional aviation fuels, making a significant contribution to the aviation sector’s decarbonization efforts and the broader transition toward a low-emission, sustainable energy future in Europe.


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