What is SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel)?
SAF is the term used by the aviation industry for alternative fuel produced using sustainable feedstock.
Sustainable aviation fuel is a drop-in solution that is immediately available to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from air transport, requiring no changes to existing storage and distribution infrastructure, aircraft or engines. Its gradual adoption by the global market should lead to a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions from air transport, since it offers an average lifetime CO2 reduction of at least 80% when produced from waste and residues.
How is SAF produced?
At TotalEnergies, we have two preferred modes of SAF production:
The first begins with the production of sustainable aviation fuel in a biorefinery. It is then delivered to a dedicated storage facility and blended with standard jet fuel in an amount of up to 50% to produce SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel).
The second is co-processing, which consists in the insertion of biobased feedstock in addition to the usual fossil feedstock. At the end of the refining process, the result is sustainable aviation fuel.
SAF broadly includes e-fuels, which are synthetic fuels produced from hydrogen, ideally generated by renewable electricity, and CO2, which can be extracted from the air or from industrial effluent. These technologies are currently in the research phase, and remain extremely costly but could eventually be a particularly promising solution.
Discover the advantages of TotalEnergies SAF
For over ten years, TotalEnergies has been involved in a range of initiatives designed to promote the production and development of sustainable aviation fuels, in partnership with major market players. In 2021, we launched SAF production in France and worked on projects that will lead to the production of SAF in other TotalEnergies refineries, such as Grandpuits in 2024.
TotalEnergies has taken part in many such initiatives since 2014, stepping up a gear in 2021, with several French firsts—the country's first SAF delivery, to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and first permanent SAF offering, at Le Bourget airport, also in Paris, and world firsts—the first flights fully powered by SAF, of an Airbus helicopter with Safran engine in Marignane, near Marseille, and an Airbus A319Neo in Toulouse.
The development of these biofuels represents one of our strategic multi-energy priorities to meet the challenge of decarbonizing the air industry, in line with the Company’s ambition to get to net zero by 2050.
For these reasons, and in order to meet our customers’ growing demand, we are examining and deploying other SAF production technologies, such as co-processing and the development of e-fuels (synthetic fuels produced from hydrogen).
Our first fuel stations with a permanent SAF offering
Since June 2021, our customers at Paris-Le Bourget airport have been able to enjoy our SAF offering for their refueling needs.
Our SAF is also permanently available at Clermont-Ferrand and Bordeaux-Mérignac airport.
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