Neste ©
Neste ©

Finnish renewable fuels producer Neste has partnered with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to explore ways to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

As part of the collaboration, both companies would jointly explore business opportunities and promote SAF production and use, Neste said on 30 November.

The aviation sector’s target of reaching “net zero carbon emissions by 2050” required the introduction of a range of measures, Neste said, including fuel-efficient aircraft technologies, improved operations and ground infrastructures, as well as SAF use.

Against this backdrop, the focus of the partnership with Airbus would be on the technical development of SAF, fuel approval and testing of current and future production technologies and exploring how “100% SAF” use could be employed, Neste said.

“The combined knowledge and expertise of the companies will help advance the use and availability of SAF as a means of transitioning aviation towards more sustainable energy sources and reducing the climate impact of aviation,” Neste executive vice president (Renewable Aviation) Thorsten Lange said.

Neste said the agreement with Airbus built on their involvement in the Emission and Climate Impact of Alternative Fuels’ (ECLIF3) research project, an in-flight emissions study using 100% SAF on a commercial passenger aircraft, with British luxury car and aero-engine manufacturer and Rolls-Royce and German research centre DLR.

Following the collaboration in the ECLIF3 project, Airbus and Neste would be conducting further studies on the technical aspects of reaching 100% SAF certification, Neste said.

“All Airbus aircraft are… certified for flying with up to 50% SAF, and this partnership will be instrumental to reaching certification for 100% SAF by the end of the decade,” Airbus executive vice president, communications, sustainability and corporate affairs, Julie Kitcher said.