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| 1 minute read

US President acknowledges need for sustainable aviation fuel to reach net zero

In his recent speech at POET Bioprocessing in Menlo, Iowa, President Biden stated that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is essential to getting to net zero by 2050. The 46th President also quoted the CEO of United Airlines who stated that "Sustainable aviation fuel is the cornerstone of [United Airlines'] strategy.

Whilst this speech was given at a bioprocessing plant in a state which grows the corn which is converted into ethanol, it is good to see that the President is acknowledging that SAF will be required to reach net zero. President Biden's comments also indicate that he considers that a range of technologies are required to reach net zero, one of which is SAF.

Of course, SAF is not the only technology that is required and there will be a mixture of battery and hydrogen technologies which work alongside one another to achieve net zero. Each of these technologies will fill its own niche depending on the specific technological and economic requirements.

The technology will continue to improve, become cheaper and more efficient, which requires continued investment from governments and companies. Governments and companies which lead the way will no doubt reap both environmental and economic rewards from their continued research and development.

Despite knowing that the technologies will continue to get even better, there are still some amazing technologies now and these should be deployed as quickly as possible as they can set us along the path to net zero instead of waiting for a panacea to come along. One example of this is the recent tests which demonstrated that 100% SAF can be used in both engines of an airliner. By accelerating the approval process, airlines could switch to SAF earlier and make a great start of achieving net zero aviation sooner than 2050.

I look forward to seeing existing technologies being implemented and of course to seeing what new technologies await.

I’ve set a goal of zero-carbon for aviation sector, for example, by 2050.  I’ve spoken with the leading heads of all major airlines.  It’s going to require billions of gallons of sustainable aviation fuel.  And you simply can’t get to net zero by 2050 without biofuels


chemistry, climate change, energy & environment, patents, transport