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Understanding eSAF Technology and Its Potential in Aviation

Understanding eSAF Technology and Its Potential in Aviation

The aviation industry is constantly seeking out new, greener energy solutions, and eSAF has arrived as an excellent contender.

As with any SAF solution, it is designed to work with existing jet engines and match the performance of traditional fossil fuels. However, eSAF sets itself apart through its renewable roots. This synthetic fuel is brought to life through the power of environmentally-friendly energy sources.

This post will take a closer look at eSAF, its production, and how it fits into the low carbon fuels landscape for aviation.

eSAF: Connecting Current Infrastructure with a Renewable Future

eSAF represents a reality-oriented solution to integrating renewables into the aviation industry. We can all envision a fully electric jet powered by batteries. But the technology to achieve that simply isn’t there yet. Batteries are too expensive and far too heavy for any practical use in aircraft.

The compromise in this case is to continue using fuel—but to generate it from clean electricity sources.

For example, electricity could be produced through wind or solar. This electricity could then be converted into hydrogen and processed into SAF.

While the idea sounds good on paper, hydrogen’s molecular makeup has a relatively low energy density. That means current aircraft infrastructure could not handle hydrogen-based fuel solutions.

To accomplish this goal, airlines would need to produce entirely new fleets built for that infrastructure. A promising idea, undoubtedly, but not a practical investment in the hyper-competitive aviation industry.

How Power-to-Liquid Technology Creates eSAF

The need for a renewable solution within current aviation technology is exactly where eSAF's power-to-liquid (PtL) capability can make a significant impact.

Here’s how it works:

  • Electrolysis is used in renewable electricity to split water into its base molecules (hydrogen and oxygen).
  • Carbon dioxide derived from the air (or sourced into the eSAF operation) is combined with hydrogen and processed into carbon monoxide and water. This is achieved through a reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction.
  • Using a catalytic conversion process called Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, the hydrogen from the water (H2) and the carbon monoxide (CO) yield a substance much like petroleum crude oil (FT crude).
  • FT crude can then be converted into the eSAF using equipment and technology already present in various refinery outfits.

Regulations presently allow blending of up to 50% eSAF with traditional jet fuel. But the market for SAF is moving fast. Thus, hopes are high that future legislation will greenlight 100% synthetic fuels, opening the door to fully renewable air travel.

The fact that eSAF can seamlessly integrate into existing airplanes makes it a highly viable choice for sustainable flight.

Get eSAF Pricing Data with the Carbon Mitigator Report from ResourceWise

As SAF continues gaining traction across the aviation world, understanding its market value has become absolutely essential. Your business needs the best possible pricing and analytics to help drive your strategy and decision-making forward.

In a rapidly developing sector like SAF, not all data and pricing are created equal. This is why partnering with an expert like ResourceWise is so important. The Carbon Mitigator report— available in our online biofuel and feedstock pricing and analytics platform, Prima CarbonZero™—can give your business the help it needs.

The report delivers modeled prices for all major types of SAF currently on the market:

  • eSAF
  • Corn and Waste Ethanol
  • E-Methanol Alcohol to Jet (ATJ)

With critical news updates, analyst insights, and the data you need, the Carbon Mitigator will help keep your business ahead in the ever-changing sustainable fuels landscape.

Learn more about the Carbon Mitigator by following the link below and schedule a demo of the platform to see all the ways we can help take your business through the low carbon transition.