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Comment Sustainability

LanzaTech and SkyNRG to build Europe’s first ethanol-to-SAF plant

By Mary Page Bailey |

The FLITE consortium, led by SkyNRG  B.V. (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.skynrg.com) and with LanzaTech (Skokie, Ill.; www.lanzatech.com) as the technology provider, will build the first-of-its-kind LanzaJet Alcohol-to-Jet-fuel (AtJ) facility. The facility will convert waste-based ethanol to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at a scale of over 30,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr). The project received €20 million in grant funding from the EU H2020 program and is a major milestone on the path to a net zero emission for the aviation industry.

Sustainable aviation fuel is critical to reduce emissions from the aviation sector in the coming decades. Ambitious targets are proposed as part of the European Green Deal ‘Sustainable and smart mobility’ policy and the new legislative initiative ‘EU ReFuelEU Aviation’. To meet these targets in the years to come, it is essential that we diversify feedstock and technology options for SAF production. This pre-commercial AtJ production plant will pave the way to implementing SAF production across Europe and around the globe, producing commercially relevant quantities of SAF to support future aviation’s climate targets.

The FLITE (Fuel via Low Carbon Integrated Technology from Ethanol) project kick-off was held on December 8th, 2020. The consortium consists of leaders from their respective industries. SkyNRG, a global market leader for SAF solutions, is acting as the project coordinator and managing downstream supply chain development; carbon recycling company, LanzaTech, will be responsible for plant design, construction and operations using the LanzaJetTM AtJ technology; Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest applied research organization, will oversee and distribute communications about the project; energy and sustainability strategy consultancy E4tech, will conduct the life cycle assessment; and the world’s most trusted, valued and peer-reviewed standard for the bio-based economy, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), will support the project through guidance on RSB certification of the facility.

Maarten van Dijk, Managing Director SkyNRG: “With the increasing demand for SAF in the future, there is a need to diversify SAF technologies and feedstock. This first of its kind Alcohol-to Jet production in Europe will be an important step in the direction of making sustainable aviation fuel more accessible and scalable, supporting net zero emission ambitions for the aviation industry. SkyNRG is excited to be a part of the FLITE project.”

Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech: “Bending the carbon curve requires collaboration and strong partnerships, something the FLITE Consortium exemplifies! We look forward to implementing LanzaJetTM Alcohol-to-Jet technology in Europe. This is an important enabler to expanding production of sustainable aviation fuel and creating a path to a lower carbon future. We are grateful for the Horizon 2020 funding which has made this project possible.”

Rolf Hogan, Executive Director, RSB: “This project addresses two key challenges faced by the aviation sector today – rapid decarbonisation and doing so in a sustainable manner. It aims to scale the production of SAF in Europe, and ensure it meets the most stringent sustainability standards. The RSB is proud to support partners to demonstrate sustainability performance and meet regional and global regulatory requirements of EU RED and CORSIA.”

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